Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) slammed Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) Wednesday evening as the House debated whether to censure Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) for his assassination cartoon. What Boebert yelled on the floor is simply another conspiracy idea making its way through the Republican Party.
“My colleague and three-month presidential candidate from California, who is on the Intelligence Committee, slept with Fang Fang, a Chinese spy,” Boebert said on the House floor. “Let me say that again. A member of Congress who receives classified briefings was sleeping with the enemy.”
Former FBI special agent Asha Rangappa said last year that Swalwell is not the first lawmaker to be pursued by foreign spies, and he will not be the last.
The true measure of the problem is what someone does when the FBI contacts them to inform them that there is a problem.
Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) was also told by Russian intelligence that he was a target. Former Trump campaign aide Carter Page was also targeted by Russian operatives for recruitment.
In Swalwell’s instance, Chinese nationalist Christine Fang contacted him in 2012. Six years had passed since the FBI contacted Swalwell to inform him that Fang was suspected of being a spy.
In his instance, the lawmaker severed relations immediately and informed the FBI about Fang. The next year, President Donald Trump was elected, and his FBI made no move to investigate Swalwell or raise public concerns.
That was not the situation in the Johnson and Page instances.
“Just to emphasize, Carter Page was warned that he was being targeted by Russian intelligence,” Rangappa tweeted. “So was the Trump campaign. And Senator Ron Johnson. NONE of them cut off contact…they doubled down (and in the case of the Trump campaign, later concealed and lied about it to the FBI).”
She said that foreign intelligence officers constantly contact persons in positions of influence. Last year, President Donald Trump was the focus of a Chinese eavesdropping operation at Mar-a-Lago. She wasn’t the only one.
From September 2018 to April 2019, six persons, two Chinese women and four Chinese men, were detained for trespassing to snap pictures at Naval Air Station Key West.
The FBI informed President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign in July of that year about Russians attempting to infiltrate his campaign.
According to FBI counterintelligence agent Frank Montoya, Trump would have been advised, “If you notice these sorts of interactions, please let us know about them so we can keep you informed on the danger picture.”
When confronted with such concerns, the Trump team took a different path than Swalwell.
“The FBI typically gives a defensive briefing/warning when they believe you are being UNWITTINGLY targeted,” explained Rangappa. “If they think you are knowingly participating, they will quietly monitor you to gather more info (and in some cases open a criminal investigation). Targets of foreign intelligence can include: scientists and researchers, politicians, businessmen, journalists, diplomats. Being approached means you have access to info they want. (HPSCI: shocker!) Again, what matters is how you respond once the FBI alerts you to the threat.”
Boebart’s actions during and after the riot at the Capitol could make her career as a lawmaker a brief one, and most likely why she is targeting her colleagues by attacking their character.
Boebert may be soon on the chopping block for tweeting the location of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as lawmakers were taken to a secure location where they could shelter in place while rioters stormed the building.
Boebert accused Democrats of having their “hypocrisy” on “full display with talks of impeachment, censure, and other ways to punish Republicans for false accusations of inciting the type of violence they have so frequently and transparently supported in the past.”
While rioters stormed the Capitol, Beobert first tweeted that representatives “were locked in the House Chambers” and just moments later she tweeted that the “Speaker has been removed from the chambers.”
Boebert has dismissed accusations that she in any way endangered Pelosi’s life and stated that her tweeting was in no way noteworthy.
“[Democrats] accuse me of live-tweeting the Speaker’s presence after she had been safely removed from the Capitol as if I was revealing some big secret, when in fact this removal was also being broadcast on TV,” Boebert said.
Boebert then went on to make baseless claims about the far-left, which she said included President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
She went on to compare Black Lives Matter protests to the dangerous insurrection, calling them “the violence over the summer.”
Democratic Senator Brian Schatz responded to Boebert’s tweets late Monday night stating that lawmakers “were specifically instructed by those protecting us not to tell anyone, including our family, where exactly we were, for reasons that remain obvious.”
Schatz added that it’s not explicitly clear “to what extent the rioters were coordinating operationally with government officials,” so it’s vital that lawmakers and others are “extremely careful in this line of inquiry.”
“But we must discover which elected and appointed officials, if any, and which civil servants, were helping the coup,” Schatz added.
After the Capitol was secured Congress went back to work and certified the Electoral College votes in favor of Joe Biden.
Dozens of Republican lawmakers still objected to the votes despite what had taken place including Boebert.
On the morning of the riot, Boebert and Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene called the day a “1776 moment” for Republicans.
“Today is 1776,” Boebert tweeted.
“America is depending on all of us today,” she said shortly afternoon. “This is something I don’t take lightly. I will fight with everything I have to ensure the fairness of the election.”
While Boebert was on the floor she addressed Pelosi directly and stated that she had “constituents outside this building right now.”
Boebert voice continued to rise throughout her speech. She promised her voters to “be their voice.”
On Monday, California Representative Eric Swalwell compared Boebert to a criminal. He suggested that she refrain from making any further incendiary remarks.
“Like any citizen who has committed a crime, Lauren Boebert has the right to remain silent,” he said. “I suggest that she use it.”
A petition is being circulated by the Garfield County Democrats calling for her resignation.
“[Boebert] should be removed from office before she does any further damage to our democracy,” reads the commentary from Garfield County Democratic Party Chairman John Krousouloudis and other local party leaders, the Aspen Times reported. “We can’t afford two more years of her fanning the flames of Q-Anon, Proud Boys, and other white nationalist groups.”
The Montrose Democratic Party chair, Kevin Kuns, called Boebert “Embarrassing.”
Kuns stated that Boebert has demonstrated “zero interest in upholding the Constitution and has put other people’s freedom to vote in her crosshairs by trying to overturn the results of a free and fair election.”
He added that: “Whether Boebert’s actions were willful ignorance or purposeful insurrection to overthrow a democracy, I agree with the tens of thousands of people who tweeted #ResignBoebert today — Boebert must resign. Our district deserves better.”