A US congressman is refusing to confirm whether he had sex with a suspected Chinese intelligence operative, despite affirming he isn't under "suspicion of wrongdoing".
Democratic congressman Eric Swalwell claims his relationship with Christine Fang was leaked while he was involved in impeaching US President Donald Trump, and now he's demanding an investigation into who exposed him. He is among several American politicians who allegedly had sex with Fang.
Swalwell, who is from the Bay Area in California and sits on the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committee, hasn't confirmed or denied whether he had sex with her before he was told in 2015 she was a Chinese spy.
Axios reports Fang targeted up-and-coming politicians in the Bay Area and across the United States who had the potential to make it big on the national stage.
The pair first met in 2012 after Swalwell became a congressman. Fang later helped with his fundraising activity in his 2014 reelection campaign, however, no illegal contributions were found.
In 2015, federal investigators who were monitoring Fang became "so alarmed" by her behaviour and activities that they alerted Swalwell about their concerns. He then cut all ties to Fang, according to Axios, and he hasn't been accused of any wrongdoing. Fang then left the US in mid-2015 during the FBI's investigation.
Swalwell says he was shocked when the FBI told him about Fang and her activities.
"Just over six years ago, I was told about this individual and then I offered to help, and I did help and I was thanked by the FBI for my help and that person is no longer in the country," he told Axios.
"There was never a suspicion of wrongdoing on my part and all I did was cooperate and the FBI said that yesterday."
Despite repeatedly saying he's complied with investigations and isn't accused of misconduct, he isn't confirming whether or not he had a sexual relationship with Fang. Swalwell is instead blaming Trump for the leak after he was involved with the President's impeachment inquiry in his role in the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committee.
"If this is a country where people who criticise the President are going to have law enforcement information weaponised against them, that's not a country that any of us want to live in," Swalwell told CNN. "I hope it is investigated as to who leaked this information."
Fang reportedly used political gatherings, conferences, campaign rallies, and university campus events to connect with elected officials and other well-known people.
Axios reports she had sexual or romantic relationships with at least two mayors in Midwestern cities over three years. At least two separate sexual interactions with elected officials - including one with a Midwestern mayor - were caught on FBI electronic surveillance of Fang.
Fang also helped with a fundraiser for congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard - who ran in the 2020 Democratic presidential race. Gabbard says she has "no recollection" of meeting her, nor did Fang play a large role in the fundraiser.