Swalwell, California politicians targeted by Chinese spy: report

A woman suspected of being a Chinese intelligence operative allegedly targeted several local and national politicians in the first half of the last decade, including Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellThe Memo: New riot footage stuns Trump trial New security video shows lawmakers fleeing during Capitol riot Newly released footage shows Schumer's 'near miss' with Capitol rioters MORE (D-Calif.), according to a report from Axios.

The woman, Fang Fang or Christine Fang, reportedly specifically attempted to curry influence with Bay Area politicians from 2011 to 2015, including participating in fundraising for Swalwell’s 2014 reelection campaign, according to the publication.

She is not believed to have obtained any classified information, but “there were some really, really sensitive people that were caught up," a senior U.S. intelligence official told Axios. Foreign nationals are barred from donating to campaigns and Federal Election Commission records show no indication she donated to Swalwell.


A spokesperson for Swalwell said the California congressman had already cooperated with federal investigations into Fang.

“Rep. Swalwell, long ago, provided information about this person — whom he met more than eight years ago, and whom he hasn’t seen in nearly six years — to the FBI,” Swalwell’s office said in a statement to Axios. “To protect information that might be classified, he will not participate in your story."

Swalwell reportedly received a defensive briefing from the FBI as they accelerated their investigation into Fang. He reportedly immediately cut ties to her and is not accused of any wrongdoing in connection with her alleged activities, a current U.S. intelligence official told Axios.

Fang, who reportedly helped place at least one intern in Swalwell’s office, is believed to have overseen subagents through such efforts, many of whom did not realize they were part of the operation. She left the country in 2015 amid the investigation.

She also reportedly attempted similar influence operations on other Bay Area politicians, volunteering for Rep. Ro KhannaRohit (Ro) KhannaOvernight Defense: Biden sends message with Syria airstrike | US intel points to Saudi crown prince in Khashoggi killing | Pentagon launches civilian-led sexual assault commission Biden 'disappointed' in Senate parliamentarian ruling but 'respects' decision Democrats look to improve outreach to Asian and Latino communities MORE’s (D) failed 2014 campaign.

Khanna’s office has said he did not receive an FBI briefing like Swalwell’s and that her name does not appear in records of the 2014 campaign staff. Fang has been photographed with several California politicians, including Swalwell, Khanna, then-Rep. Mike HondaMichael (Mike) Makoto HondaSwalwell, California politicians targeted by Chinese spy: report Young insurgents aren't rushing to Kennedy's side in Markey fight Ex-congressman launching PAC to defend Dem seats in 2020 MORE (D) and Rep. Judy ChuJudy May ChuBiden to nominate Obama alum Ahuja to lead Office of Personnel Management Pelosi, lawmakers denounce violence against Asian Americans Why Biden's diversity efforts fall flat MORE (D).

Over a three-year period, two officials told Axios she also had romantic relationships with at least two Midwestern mayors. At least two sexual interactions between Fang and elected officials were allegedly recorded during FBI surveillance, according to Axios.