Representative Eric Swalwell (D., Calif.) spoke at a 2013 event with a staffer for Senator Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) accused of being a Chinese spy, the Daily Caller reported on Friday.
The event itself was organized by Christine Fang, a suspected Chinese spy who developed a relationship with Swalwell between 2011 and 2015, according to a year-long investigation by Axios which found that Fang bundled campaign donations for the congressman and even had an intern placed in his office.
Federal investigators briefed Swalwell on the allegations against Fang in 2015, at which point the representative severed contact with her. There is no indication that Swalwell was aware of Fang’s work for China when he was in contact with her.
In 2013, the California State University, East Bay Chinese Student Association held an event to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year, at which both Swalwell and then-Feinstein staffer Russell Lowe spoke to students. Feinstein was informed in 2018 that a staffer in her office was suspected of conducting espionage for China, and the Caller identified Lowe that same year as the likely spy.
It is unclear if Lowe and Fang knew of each other’s alleged activities for the Chinese government.
Swalwell refused to comment on Axios‘s investigation over the past year. However, after the outlet released its story, Swalwell said it looked timed to discredit him.
“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 told Politico on Tuesday. “The timing feels like that should be looked at.”