Rep. Swalwell’s Dad, Brother Remained Facebook Friends With Suspected Chinese Spy

December 10, 2020 Updated: December 10, 2020

The father and brother of Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) were Facebook friends with a suspected Chinese spy until Wednesday, severing the ties after reports about the association.

Swalwell’s father also “liked” a picture that the purported spy, Christine “Fang” Fang, posted on Facebook in March.

Both Joshua Swalwell, Eric’s brother, and Eric Swalwell, his father, were friends with Fang on Facebook, according to screenshots captured by the Daily Mail. The Swalwells changed their relationship with Fang on the social media website on Dec. 9 after reports about the links.

Fang “liked” a photograph that Swalwell’s brother posted in 2016 that featured the brothers together, while the senior Swalwell “liked” two photographs that the alleged spy posted in the last two years.

Swalwell’s brother and father didn’t respond to Facebook messages.

Fang remained friends with other California officials on social media. That included Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.). His friendship with her was not current as of Dec. 10.

A campaign spokeswoman for Khanna told The Epoch Times in an emailed statement: “Rep. Khanna’s campaign at the time had more than 500 student volunteers. She was never on staff and he doesn’t recall ever meeting her. Until just yesterday, the congressman or his staff hadn’t logged into his personal Facebook account in years. Once the password was reset Fang was removed as a friend on the account.”

After a report that Fang raised funds for Swalwell and even placed an intern in his office, the representative refused in interviews to answer questions about what happened. His office says he provided information that might be classified about Fang to the FBI and hadn’t seen her in nearly six years.

Rep. Ro Khanna
Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) speaks during a press conference at Capitol Hill in Washington on April 4, 2019. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

Multiple photographs show Swalwell and Fang together.

The lawmaker’s office hasn’t responded to requests for comment.

Fellow representatives are pushing Democratic congressional leaders to remove Swalwell from the powerful House Intelligence Committee. Some say he should be removed from Congress.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is backing Swalwell and House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) hasn’t answered questions about the matter.

Swalwell said during an appearance on CNN on Wednesday that he wants the leak of information about the alleged spy to be investigated. “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,” he said.

Former acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell said on Fox News’ “Hannity” late Wednesday that Schiff and acting Senate Intelligence Chairman Marco Rubio should call the committees together and hold a confidential briefing on what Swalwell knew and potentially gave away.

“Because the reality is, he spent years downplaying the China threat and and overhyping the Russian threat. This is playing exactly into what the Chinese want people to do. They want to be under the radar. Eric Swalwell did exactly what the Chinese wanted,” Grenell said.

“We need to figure out [if] are there others, and I can tell you without giving away too much intelligence—this is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the leverage that China is putting on our politicians. There’s many, many more.”

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber