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Marjorie Taylor Greene accuses Eric Swalwell of sleeping with Chinese spy, makes it part of congressional record

By Sarah May
|
April 21, 2023

A hearing of the House Homeland Security Committee grew heated on Wednesday when Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA-14) lit into Democrat Rep. Eric Swalwell (CA-14) over his rumored past affair with a Chinese spy, as the New York Post reports.

Greene's comments were viewed by some as so incendiary that Democrats endeavored – ultimately in vain – to have them removed from the official record of the proceedings.

War of words

The kerfuffle between the lawmakers began when Swalwell suggested that Greene was guilty of promulgating “anti-police rhetoric” due to a tweet she authored touting merchandise bearing the slogan “Defund the FBI.”

Greene did not take kindly to the insinuation that her opposition to what she views as bias at the federal agency amounted to anti-law enforcement sentiment, making no secret of that fact as she leveled a broadside of her own at the California Democrat.

The Georgia firebrand hit back immediately, saying, “That was quite entertaining from someone that had a sexual relationship with a Chinese spy – and everyone knows it.”

Greene's comments were made in reference to reports that Swalwell previously engaged in a romantic relationship with a woman known as “Fang Fang,” who was suspected of working as a Chinese agent.

Debate ensues

Democrat Rep. Dan Goldman (NY-10) swiftly jumped into the fray, stating, “I move to take her words down!”

That prompted Republican panel chair Mark Green (TN-07) to inquire which of his colleagues's words he wished to have stricken from the record, to which Goldman replied, “Everything that the gentlelady from Georgia has said,” the Post further noted.

After Green demanded more specificity, Goldman elaborated by saying, “The accusations of an affair with a Chinese spy. Those are engaging in personalities.”

In the end, Golman was disappointed, given that Green ultimately stated, “The chair rules that those words that were spoken are not going to be stricken from the record,” prompting Democrat Rep. Bennie Thompson (MS-02) to unsuccessfully appeal that decision.

Controversial assignation

The rumors of an entanglement involving Swalwell and a Chinese spy – which he does not seem to deny – date back to a 2020 report from Axios, which outlined how Fang Fang – also known as Christine Fang – would set her sights on young politicians on the rise.

That report indicated that Fang was also accused of having similarly seduced two mayors in the Midwest, much as she allegedly did while raising money for Swalwell and placing an intern in his office.

Federal authorities eventually briefed Swalwell on Fang's tactics and suspected ties to the Chinese government in 2015, at which point he was said to have severed ties with the woman, according to Fox News.

During an appearance on ABC's The View, Swalwell defended his handling of the situation, saying, “First and foremost, and you don't have to take my word for it, take the FBI's word for it...when they told me who she...I did everything that I hoped everyone would do, which was to cooperate and help the FBI, and she was removed.”

Greene not alone

Rep. Greene is by no means the only Republican in Congress who has spoken out about Swalwell's ill-advised involvement with a dangerous foreign agent, as the issue reared its head again earlier this year when Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (CA-20) vowed to keep the California liberal off of the House Intelligence Committee, as The Hill reported at the time.

Noting the sensitive nature of the information regularly received by members of the Intel Committee, McCarthy was adamant that Swalwell not have a seat on the panel.

“If you got the briefing I got from the FBI, you wouldn't have Swalwell on any committee,” McCarthy declared provocatively.

Swalwell, for his part, blasted McCarthy's resolve on the issue as little more than partisan “vengeance,” arguing that there was “no substantive reason” for his ouster.