‘The Maria Butina plea today represents that over the past two years, our country has seen just an influx of Russians into our political bloodstream and that’s something that did not exist until Donald Trump came on the scene,’ Democratic California Rep. Eric Swalwell told the Hill’s Rising almost exactly two years ago today.
Butina was a Russian spy who managed to infiltrate conservative activist circles and obtain information through sexual relationships. It was revealed Monday, however, that Swalwell was dealing with a honeypot of his own.
According to a year-long investigation by Axios, a Chinese spy named Fang ‘Christine’ Fang was a fundraiser for Swalwell’s 2014 reelection campaign and had access to him for several years, managing to place an intern in his congressional office. Fang also had romantic or sexual relationships with at least two Midwestern mayors. Her political access had grown so extensive that the FBI got involved, giving Swalwell a defensive briefing after which he cut off all ties with Fang.
The irony in all this is that Swalwell was one of the most vocal proponents of the Russiagate conspiracy, which alleged that President Donald Trump and his 2016 campaign had conspired with the Russians to steal the election. He claimed the House Intelligence Committee found ‘strong evidence’ of collusion, even though Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s years-long investigation did not find enough evidence to support that charge. When challenged on this statement by the Trump campaign, Swalwell dared the President to ‘sue me’. Cockburn wonders if Swalwell wasn’t dealing with a strong case of projection, given his own relationship with a foreign agent had been foiled by the FBI the same year Trump began running for President.
It appears there was ‘strong evidence’ that he was far more compromised than the President. This is especially disturbing given Swalwell is a member of the House Intelligence Committee, which has access to all kinds of confidential and classified information. Did any state secrets unwittingly get passed along to his foreign friend? What exactly was the nature of their relationship? The Axios story and Swalwell’s response to it isn’t clear on any of this.
The congressman may have thought passing gas on national television was embarrassing. Maybe it’s worse to learn that the hot Chinese woman who’s been circling you is merely using you to restore her country’s hegemony…