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House Ethics Committee ends investigation into Rep. Eric Swalwell

Swalwell, D-Calif., said it's "time to move on" after the panel ended its probe, which did not find wrongdoing over allegations that he had ties to a suspected Chinese spy.
Eric Swalwell during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol Building,
The House Ethics Committee concluded its investigation into Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., pictured at a news conference at the U.S. Capitol last year.Anna Moneymaker / Getty Images file

The House Ethics Committee ended its two-year investigation into Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., over allegations that he had ties to a suspected Chinese intelligence operative.

In a letter to Swalwell dated Monday, the committee said it will take no further action in the probe that began in April 2021 into “allegations raised in the complaint that you may have violated House Rules, laws, or other standards of conduct in connection with your interactions with Ms. Christine Fang,” the suspected Chinese spy.

“The Committee has previously reviewed allegations of improper influence by foreign agents and in doing so, cautioned that Members should be conscious of the possibility that foreign governments may attempt to secure improper influence through gifts and other interactions,” the letter said. “We encourage you to contact the Office of House Security for any guidance on steps you can take to prevent or address such attempts.”

The investigation into Swalwell came in response to allegations that Fang was involved in fundraising operations for his 2014 re-election campaign and helped place an intern in his office, Axios reported.

In a statement following the committee’s letter, Swalwell said he assisted the FBI nearly 10 years ago in their counterintelligence investigation of a campaign volunteer.

“The case and my assistance were briefed to Republican Speaker of the House, John Boehner, and two years later, Republican Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, re-appointed me to the House Intelligence Committee,” he said. “Neither Speaker questioned my actions nor politicized my cooperation.”

Swalwell said that despite his cooperation with the FBI, which never accused him of wrongdoing, a complaint was filed against him by an unnamed House Republican.

“It’s time to move on,” he said. “The bipartisan House Ethics Committee had this case for over two years. They had the power of subpoena. They received answers from me in response to requests for information. Today, they are closing this matter and did not make a finding of any wrongdoing.”

Swalwell became a target of House Republicans over the allegations. At the start of the new Congress this year, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., blocked Swalwell and Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., from continuing to serve on the House Intelligence Committee. Swalwell was an impeachment manager during the second impeachment trial of then-President Donald Trump, while Schiff was lead prosecutor in Trump's first impeachment trial.