Richard Grenell, for a time President Trump’s acting director of national intelligence, says top Democratic leadership was aware of Rep. Eric Swalwell’s relationship with a purported Chinese spy.
On Thursday, he called for full disclosure.
“There must be a full classified briefing for the Senate and House intel committees about the Swalwell spy scandal,” he wrote on Twitter. “Swalwell downplayed the China threat – and he says Nancy Pelosi & Adam Schiff were aware of his activities.”
There must be a full classified briefing for the Senate and House intel committees about the Swalwell spy scandal.
Swalwell downplayed the China threat – and he says Nancy Pelosi & Adam Schiff were aware of his activities.
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) December 10, 2020
Axios reported this week that Swalwell, a Democrat from California, had a relationship with Christine Fang, an alleged Chinese spy who cozied up to multiple California politicians. Axios said she had “romantic” relationships with several U.S. politicians before she fled the U.S. for China in 2015.
Swalwell has declined to disclose details of his interactions with Fang. Instead, he has claimed to be a victim of a political hit job because of his criticism of President Trump.
“I’ve been a critic of the president. I’ve spoken out against him. I was on both committees that worked to impeach him,” Swalwell said. “The timing feels like that should be looked at.”
Axios reported U.S. counterintelligence authorities suspected Fang of working covertly in the U.S. from 2011 to 2015 on behalf of China’s Ministry of State Security, which is Beijing’s primary spy service.
The report said Fang developed relationships with several California Democrats in addition to Swalwell, who she met while he was a city councilman. She later raised funds for his congressional bid.
In an interview Wednesday, Fox News’ Sean Hannity noted to Grenell that while Russia is a hostile regime, the bigger threat is China.
“Look, I think it’s even worse than just hypocrisy. We are accustomed to hypocrisy in Washington, D.C. But you said it right, Sean, that look, Russia is a problem but China is a crisis and we have known that it has been a crisis for a very long time,” Grenell said.
“I think there needs to be a gang of intelligent group investigations, certainly an acting chairman, Marco Rubio and chairman Schiff should immediately call the intelligence committee together. They should get a confidential classified briefing on what Eric Swalwell knew and how much did he give away,” he sid.
Grenell said Swalwell “spent years downplaying the China threat and overhyping the Russian threat.”
“This is playing exactly into what the Chinese want people to do. They want to be under the radar,” he said. “Eric Swalwell did exactly what the Chinese wanted. We need to figure out 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 are many, many more.”
Asked by Hannity if the Bidens would be in that category, Grenell sid there are “mayors, governors, senior people.”
He said “a whole bunch” of information should be coming out.
The FBI provided a “defensive” briefing to Swalwell in 2015 alerting him to Fang after Swalwell joined the House Intelligence Committee.
Swalwell confirmed in a Politico interview congressional leaders were aware of his contacts with her.
“This goes back to the beginning of the last decade, and it’s something that congressional leadership knew about it,” Swalwell said.
Swalwell among the Democrats’ top purveyors of the now-debunked claims of Trump-Russia collusion.
“Rep. Swalwell has long been disqualified from serving on the Intel Committee,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said. “For years he peddled Russian disinformation for political gain.”
Rep. Swalwell has long been disqualified from serving on the Intel Committee. For years he peddled Russian disinformation for political gain.
Now we find out he was involved in an effort by a reported spy to gather info for China.
Swalwell is a national security liability.
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) December 8, 2020
Axios reported Fang bundled campaign contributions for Swalwell and also planted an intern in the Democrat’s congressional office.
John Ratcliffe, the director of national intelligence, said this week that Chinese agents have targeted U.S. lawmakers more than any other country, including Russia and Iran, to shape U.S. policy.
Ratcliffe said in a Sunday interview that he had briefed the House and Senate Intelligence Committees on the influence efforts.
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