sex scandals

The China Sex Spy Scandal Is a Reminder: Don’t Govern While Horny

California Democrat Eric Swalwell was closely acquainted with Chinese spy Christine Fang. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

If Bill Clinton taught Democrats anything, it was the perils of governing while horny. Sadly, it seems that Congressman Eric Swalwell might not have gotten the memo. A bombshell report published this week by Axios details how alleged Chinese spy Fang Fang, who went by the name Christine Fang while living in the U.S., cultivated relationships with various high-profile California politicians, at least two amorous Midwestern mayors, and naturally, Tulsi Gabbard.

In the case of two unnamed Midwestern mayors, Axios reports that the nature of her relationships were sexual. In the case of Swalwell, a California Democrat who briefly ran for president last year, the reader is left wondering what the nature of his relationship was precisely — and he passed on the opportunity to say that it was not sexual. Fang’s acquaintance with Swalwell, which reportedly began in 2012, is especially scandalous because he later became a member of the House Intelligence Committee, meaning he has access to sensitive state secrets. (Swalwell did not respond when New York asked him to describe his relationship with Fang.)

Axios notes that “U.S. officials do not believe Fang received or passed on classified information,” but it’s nevertheless concerning the ease at which she was able to form bonds with major political players in California and beyond.

In an interview with Politico, Swalwell suggested that this information came to light because he’s a big-time critic of Donald Trump. “I was on both committees that worked to impeach [the president],” he said. “The timing feels like that should be looked at.” Counterpoint: timing aside, that’s not a very convincing defense. Plus, a story about any politician — pro- or anti-Trump — getting hot and heavy with a spy is too juicy not to look into.

Here’s more about the emerging scandal:

1. Fang wasn’t very convincing at explaining her sexual interest in politicians

Fang allegedly had sexual relationships with two mayors of Midwestern cities. In 2014, one older Midwestern mayor brought her to a conference in Washington, D.C., where he introduced her as his girlfriend and, per former Cupertino mayor Gilbert Wong, “insisted the relationship was genuine despite the clear age difference.”

FBI surveillance also caught her having intercourse with an Ohio mayor in a car. Apparently, when the mayor asked her why she was into him, she told him it was because she wanted to improve her English.

2. Swalwell cut off contact with Fang after the FBI told him what was up

A year after Fang worked on Swalwell’s 2014 reelection campaign and placed one intern in his office, the FBI warned him that she was likely a foreign agent, and he immediately severed ties with her. That part of his story, at least, seems sound.

3. Fang also did a lot of non-sexual networking with American political elites

She came to the U.S. in 2011, where she enrolled in a Bay Area university and got involved in local politics and various Asian-American organizations. She volunteered for Ro Khanna’s unsuccessful 2014 congressional bid and helped fundraise for Tulsi Gabbard in 2013. (Gabbard’s spokesperson told Axios that the congresswoman “has no recollection of ever meeting or talking with her, nor any recollection of her playing a major role at the fundraiser.”)

4. When the FBI began investigating Fang, she bounced

When the FBI’s probe into Fang got into gear in June 2015, she left the country rather abruptly. The politicos she was tight with were confused about her sudden departure. “She disappeared off the face of everything,” Wong told Axios. “When she left kind of abruptly, we all kind of scratched our heads,” former Fremont mayor Bill Harrison said.

5. Swalwell got married in 2016, so hopefully he’s less vulnerable to honey trapping going forward

A message to other horny politicians: beware!

China Sex Spy Scandal Is Reminder: Don’t Govern While Horny