Last week, details surfaced outing Representative Eric Swalwell as a casualty of a Chinese intelligence operation in which “Beijing has tried to gain access to and influence U.S. political circles.”
Chinese national Fang Fang (also known as Christine Fang) was embedded in American politics for her years-long intelligence campaign.
Fang was active in her intelligence-gathering role from 2011 to 2015 and was planted in the Bay Area to target up-and-coming politicians who had the potential to make it to the national stage. She had sexual affairs with at least two Midwestern mayors, campaigned for Swalwell and Hawaii’s 2nd district House Representative, Tulsi Gabbard, in 2013, according to an Axios investigation. Gabbard later ran for president against Swalwell in 2020.
Fang had also recommended interns for Swalwell and had one placed in his D.C. office. Swalwell’s staff says they cannot comment as to whether he had sexual relations with Fang, who is said to be a “honeypot” brand of spy, because that information could be classified. Swalwell claims to no longer have any contact with Fang despite both his father and brother still being friends with her on Facebook as of Thursday, December 10th, 2020.
Fang has also been seen in multiple photos with California’s 17th and 27th district House Representatives Ro Khanna and Judy Chu, and then-Representative Mike Honda. Fremont City Councilmember Raj Salwan’s name was on a flyer with Fang when she was campaigning for Gabbard. She was also seen in photos with staffers and other prominent figures.
Ironically, Swalwell was a loud accuser of the Trump campaign colluding with Russia to steal the 2016 Presidential Election and went as far as calling President Trump “a spy.”
Trump has since commented on the Fang debacle by saying Swalwell should be removed from his position on the House Intelligence Committee because his relationship with Fang could be a national security threat.
Democrat party leaders said they knew about the investigation on Swalwell’s association with Fang in 2015. Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, came to Swalwell’s defense, saying, “I don’t have any concerns about Mr. Swalwell.” Speaker Pelosi continued on by defending Swalwell’s position on the House Intelligence Committee.
Fang is said to have collected detailed personal information on U.S. politicians for China’s elite Ministry of State Security. She then fled back to China in 2015 as the FBI investigation began. It is not currently believed she collected or passed along any classified information. “‘She was on a mission,’ a US counter-intelligence official said of Fang — and it included plenty of seduction before the feds got wind of her antics and she disappeared.”
Fox News held several interviews and asked about the likelihood of more honeypot operations happening in the future. Fox reported that “While several current and former intelligence and security officials and experts [were] interviewed… said that it was impossible to put a number on just how many honey trap scenarios might be in motion at present, one former defense and intelligence operative noted that it could be well into the hundreds – if not thousands. Such spies are assumed to be at top universities, known to speak perfect English, and routinely use social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook to connect with their prey.”
Dianne Feinstein, a Senator from the Bay Area, had also unknowingly employed a Chinese spy as her personal driver. He was regularly reporting back to Chinese officials about the local politics for the past 20 years. To the U.S. intelligence organization’s knowledge, no classified information was leaked. Feinstein forced her staffer to retire in 2013.
According to Politico’s Zach Dorfman, “China, for example, is certainly out to steal U.S. technology secrets, noted former intelligence officials, but it also is heavily invested in traditional political intelligence gathering, influence and perception-management operations in California.” According to LeRae Quy, a U.S. FBI undercover and counterintelligence agent quoted in the Politico article, the Bay Area is rife with spy activity from the Communist Party, namely China and Russia.
Mike Pompeo, the U.S. Secretary of State, spoke at the National Governors Association, February 8th, 2020, saying, “The Chinese government has been methodical in the way it’s analyzed our system… it’s assessed our vulnerabilities and it’s decided to exploit our freedoms, to gain an advantage over us at the federal level, the state level, and the local level… Competition with China is happening. It’s happening in your state, in fact, I’d be surprised if most of you in the audience had not been lobbied by the Chinese Communist Party directly.”