Rep. McCarthy: 'There Is No Way Eric Swalwell Should Continue to Serve on the Intel Committee'

By Susan Jones | December 21, 2020 | 8:07am EST
House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

( - The FBI briefed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) the past Friday on Rep. Eric Swalwell's involvement with a Chinese spy, who approached Swalwell when he was still a city councilman in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Later, McCarthy said anyone who heard what he heard in Friday's briefing should agree with him that Swalwell must not continue serving on the House intelligence committee.

McCarthy discussed Friday's FBI briefing in general terms with "Sunday Morning Futures" host Maria Bartiromo:

Friday, we finally got our FBI briefing. It was just the Speaker Nancy Pelosi and myself. It was a very thorough briefing. No one that was in that room could walk out and say Eric Swalwell should be on the Intel committee. I don't know -- they had a briefing before in 2015, and I don't know what that briefing was like compared to this one --but it could not have been the same.

The one answer that I got out of that briefing was, there is no way Eric Swalwell should continue to serve on the Intel committee, and 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, Maria, what I'm going to request, that every single member on the House intelligence committee, gets the exact same briefing from the FBI that I did.

Because if this individual is sitting on this committee, Eric Swalwell, they've got to know the background of what's gone on. I can't talk about the classified part, but you know what's out there in the press.

This is an individual -- Maria you've done this more than probably any other show. The in-depthness of what China has done, the number of hacks, the stealing the top-secret items from the F-35 from our missiles , going to the OPM, taking more than 24 million names.

But what they have done is so far now when you see this Christina, that she went down as low as the mayor. She went down to know Eric Swalwell as the city councilman, helped him to get to Congress, and continued and tried to put interns in his office.

This is so concerning, and then, as a very junior member, just in his second term, he gets named to the Intel committee and that exact same year when the FBI came to brief the Intel committee because they were concerned of what they saw, he gets put as the ranking Democrat over the CIA.

I do not understand how this has continued this long, and the first time I've heard about it, I got a briefing on, it was Friday, and I would never, never allow him on that committee.

At a Dec. 10 news conference, Pelosi said, "Well, I don't have any concern about Mr. Swalwell." She noted that in 2015, "the leadership of the House and the (intelligence) committee were informed that overtures from a Chinese person were being made to members of Congress. When that was made known to the members of Congress, it was over. You know, that was the end of any communication with those people."

On Sunday, McCarthy noted that "It wasn't Swalwell going to the FBI" in 2015.

"It was the FBI coming to Swalwell and to the leaders to warn (about) what they have noticed. Also, remember in the public briefing what you're able to find out about Christina, Eric Swalwell wasn't the only individual. There are mayors involved across this country. This is how in-depth the Chinese are at spying on America, of wanting to know, of stealing our secrets.

"And the Intel committee is different than any other committee. This is where America's secrets are kept. This is where the individuals are able to know things that other members are not..."

According to Axios, which broke the story two weeks ago, a Chinese spy calling herself Christine Fang met Swalwell in 2011 when he was an up-and-coming city councilman. She bundled cash for his congressional campaign -– he was first elected to the House in 2012 -- and even helped place an intern in Swalwell's congressional office.

Swalwell told CNN on Dec. 9 he was "shocked" to learn he'd been hanging around with a woman who was here as part of a Chinese effort to influence up-and-coming politicians.

"No. Jim, I was shocked," Swalwell told CNN's Jim Sciutto. "You know, 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 by the FBI for my help, and that person is no longer in the country."

Swalwell noted that "all I did was cooperate," and there is no suggestion of "wrongdoing" on his part.

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