The top Republican in the House of Representatives on Sunday called for the FBI to give a briefing to the full House Intelligence Committee on Rep. Eric Swalwell’s (D-Calif.) ties to a purported Chinese spy.
“The challenge here is the leaders of both parties are the only people who select to go on the Intel committee. That is why today, what I’m going to request [is] that every single member on the House Intelligence Committee gets the exact same briefing from the FBI that I did,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said.
“Because if this individual is sitting on this committee—Eric Swalwell—they’ve got to know the background of what has gone on,” he added.
McCarthy was speaking on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” a day after he and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) were briefed by the FBI on Swalwell and the Chinese national, Christine “Fang” Fang.
The FBI has declined to answer questions about its briefing schedule to Congress.
When Fang reportedly connected with Swalwell in the early 2010s, he was a city councilman. McCarthy said she helped Swalwell win the congressional seat he now holds and tried to place interns in his office.
“This is so concerning,” the Republican said. “And then, as a very junior member, just in a second term, he gets named to the Intel committee, he gets put as the ranking Democrat over the CIA.”
Swalwell’s office hasn’t responded to repeated requests for comment.
Pelosi revealed to reporters that congressional leaders in 2015 were briefed on Chinese assets making overtures to members of Congress. After it was made known to those members, she alleged, all ties were cut off.
Swalwell’s office has told news outlets that he has not had contact with Fang in nearly six years. But the lawmaker’s brother and father remained friends with her on Facebook until this month.
Pelosi has refused to take action against her fellow Democrat. Republicans are pushing for her to remove him from the House Intelligence Committee, and McCarthy has floated the idea of ejecting him from Congress altogether. Others have suggested Swalwell resign if he’s not removed.
Swalwell was one of the loudest promoters of the theory that President Donald Trump colluded with Russia—a theory proven wrong—and has minimized the threat of China in hearings, on social media, and during appearances on television. He has alleged that his criticism of Trump is connected to the publication of his link with Fang.
“I was shocked when just over six years ago I was told about this individual. And then, I offered to help, and I did help, and I was thanked for the FBI for my help, and that person is no longer in the country,” he said on CNN last week.
“The wrongdoing here is that at the same time this story is being leaked out, is the same time I was working on impeachment,” he added. “And if this is a country where people who criticize the president are going to have law enforcement information weaponized against them, that’s not a country that any of us want to live in. And I hope it is investigated as to who leaked this information.”