Swalwell spoke at same 2013 event as alleged Chinese spy who worked for Dianne Feinstein
Chuck Ross, DCNF
- Rep. Eric Swalwell spoke at an event in 2013 along with a former staffer for Sen. Dianne Feinstein who is alleged to have spied for the Chinese government.
- The group that hosted Swalwell and Russell Lowe, the Feinstein staffer, was led by Christine Fang, who herself is alleged to have worked as a Chinese secret agent from 2011 to 2015.
- Fang developed close ties to Swalwell, Axios reported this week. She raised money for his political campaigns and planted an intern in his office.
California Rep. Eric Swalwell, whose contacts with a Chinese spy were revealed this week, spoke at a same event in 2013 as another alleged Chinese agent who worked for decades for California Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
The event was hosted by the group led by Christine Fang, a Chinese national whose relationship with Swalwell was the subject of a report published this week by Axios. There is no indication of wrongdoing on Swalwell’s part.
The California State University, East Bay Chinese Student Association hosted both Swalwell and Russell Lowe, who then worked for Feinstein, at an event to commemorate the Chinese Lunar New Year on Feb. 9, 2013, according to the group’s Facebook page.
Photos from the event show Swalwell and Lowe speaking to a group of dozens of students at the event. The photo of Lowe shows him holding what appears to be a letter that Feinstein wrote to the student group for its celebration.
The association posted a photo of the letter from Feinstein on its Facebook page.
Swalwell posted a photo of himself at the event on his Twitter account.
Swalwell’s office did not respond to a request for comment on whether he knows Lowe.
Politico reported in 2018 that a staffer for Feinstein had for years provided political intelligence to Chinese officials. He operated at the direction of officials in the Chinese consulate in San Francisco, according to Politico.
Feinstein, who is a longtime member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, issued a statement at the time saying that the FBI had briefed her about the staffer. She said that the employee did not have access to any classified information, and that he left her employ after the FBI briefing.
Lowe was described as a driver for Feinstein, but he was also a liaison between her office and the Asian-American community in the Bay area. He attended functions at the Chinese consulate in San Francisco, which has long been known as a hotbed of Chinese spy activity.
The Daily Caller News Foundation identified Lowe in 2018 as the likely Chinese agent working in Feinstein’s office.
A photo in the DCNF story shows Lowe at an event hosted by the Chinese Student Association on Sept. 22, 2011, along with an unidentified woman and an official seemingly affiliated with the Chinese consulate.
Lowe attended a farewell party for Consul General Gao Zhansheng on March 12, 2013, according to the consulate’s website.
It is unclear whether Lowe and Fang were aware of the others’ alleged work for the Chinese government.
U.S. intelligence officials told Axios that Fang worked covertly for China’s Ministry of State Security, its main spy service, from 2011 to 2015. Feinstein’s staffer worked on behalf of the same spy service, Politico reported.
Fang cozied up to multiple California politicos, including Swalwell, Rep. Ro Khanna and Rep. Judy Chu, according to Axios.
Fang first met Swalwell when he served on the city council in Dublin, California.
According to Axios, she raised money for Swalwell’s congressional reelection campaign in 2014 and placed an intern in his congressional office.
Swalwell was briefed by the FBI about Fang’s undercover activity in 2015. He said he cut off all contact with her after the briefing. Fang skipped the country in mid-2015.
Swalwell has refused to discuss the extent of his relationship with Fang, who Axios reported had romantic affairs with the mayors of two cities in the Midwest.
Swalwell initially said he could not talk about the matter because some of the details remain classified. In interviews with Politico and CNN, he accused the Trump administration of leaking derogatory information about him because he is a vocal critic of President Donald Trump.
Feinstein’s office did not respond to request for comment. A non-profit group that Lowe co-founded in San Francisco after leaving Feinstein’s office also did not respond to an email seeking comment.