FBI to brief McCarthy on Rep. Swalwell ties to suspected Chinese spy
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) asked why Democrats “cannot admit that China is an adversary to the United States” on Friday’s broadcast of “Fox & Friends,” when discussing the ongoing scandal of fellow California Rep. Eric Swalwell (D) and his ties to a Chinese spy, Fox News reports.
“What do the communist Chinese have on the Democrats that is so powerful, so powerful that they focused on a person when he was a city council member, bundled money for him to become a member of Congress,” McCarthy told the “Fox & Friends” co-hosts.
Furthermore, he added that the FBI will shortly brief him on the matter after the initial meeting was canceled on short notice.
“I will not give up,” McCarthy emphasized.
Already, the House Republicans leader has called for Swalwell to be “removed from Congress.”
Talking with “Fox & Friends,” McCarthy called for the removal of Swalwell from the House Intelligence Committee and said the Democrats’ habit of siding against Republicans on China-related issues “raises so many more questions.”
“This person got on to the intel committee. Did somebody lobby for him? And in his first year, his committee was overseeing the CIA? And then at the same time, he ran for president,” he said.
It was first reported last week by Axios that Christine Fang, otherwise known as Fang Fang, pretended to be an exchange student and ventured to the U.S. to build relationships with politicians on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Swalwell was one of her highest-profile targets, whom she met when he was still a city councilman in the East Bay city of Dublin almost 10 years ago.
McCarthy, it should be noted, emphasized that Swalwell’s ties with a Chinese spy is not a matter of partisanship, but rather a “national security” issue. Moreover, McCarthy said that when a Chinese spy infiltrates the U.S. intelligence committee, they can “learn and keep the secrets of the country.”
“We have Nancy Pelosi, who just last year said it was a diversion to focus on China. You got the Democrat armed service chair who literally sat on the floor of Congress, that it was not China’s job to warn us about the virus. You got Adam Schiff, the now chairman of the intel committee, saying it was just escalation, that it was wrong that we close that consulate of China, it raises so many more questions,” McCarthy said.
“There are 200 other Democrat members of Congress. You’re going to tell me one of those other 200 are not better to be on the intel committee than Swalwell? I’m asked for this briefing today because I have a lot of questions,” he continued. “The Democrats backed out of the bipartisan task force on China last year, on the day before we are announcing it? Why? Why can you allow Swalwell to stay on this committee and cheat the American public? It is justified that we look at, and save our national security.”
Swalwell gained some national attention when he ran for president in 2020, but his long-shot campaign was overshadowed by the dozens of other Democrats, many with greater name recognition, in the unprecedentedly crowded field. Ultimately, he suspended his short-lived campaign in July 2019 after the first round of debates.
Swalwell was also a vocal advocate of the Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe into the now-debunked allegations that then-candidate Donald Trump‘s 2016 campaign engaged in collusion with Russians.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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‘I Don’t Buy It’: Both Democrats and Republicans don’t believe TikTok’s pledge to protect Americans from CCP
TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew had a hard time smoothing things over with both Democrats and Republicans during his Thursday testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. both parties expressed cynicism towards the notion that TikTok would protect U.S. data and American users of the app from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Specifically, lawmakers and regulators are concerned “about Chinese laws which require companies based in the country, such as TikTok’s parent company ByteDance, to provide the CCP with access to user data and other proprietary information” reports National Review.
National Review noted that TikTok was reportedly told by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., an inter-agency panel consisting of nine cabinet-level officials, to sell its stake in the social-media app or risk a ban in the U.S.
Before Chew testified on Thursday, China said it strongly opposed ByteDance’s divestment from the social-media platform. China’s Commerce Ministry said that a sale or divestiture of TikTok would involve exporting technology and had to be approved by the Chinese government, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Democrat and ranking member, Representative Frank Pallone, Jr. of New Jersey said Chew’s solution of a $1.5 billion plan nicknamed ‘Project Texas’ which allegedly would “wall off U.S. operations, with all data being stored here” is unacceptable.
Project Texas would give U.S. company Oracle based in Texas the ability to access TikTok’s algorithms in order to flag issues for government inspectors. “I still believe that the Beijing Communist government will still control and have the ability to influence what you do. So this idea, this Project Texas is simply not acceptable,” Pallone said.
“Look, the impression you are giving, and I can understand why you are giving that impression, is that you are just performing some kind of public service here. Right? I mean this is a benign company that is just performing a public service. Maybe that’s not what you are saying, but I don’t buy it,” Pallone continued.
Democrat Marc Veasey of Texas stated to Chew, “A lot of your evasiveness today in answering many of these questions really disturbs me.” The committee’s chairwoman, Republican Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers from Washington opened the hearing by exposing Chew off the bat: “You state that ByteDance is not beholden to the CCP. Again, each of the individuals I listed are affiliated with the Chinese Communist Party.”
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