The campaign of Rep. Eric Swalwell shelled out more than $500,000 during the second quarter of this year, spending much of it on alcohol, fine dining, limo services and the hotel where the congressman’s wife works, records show.
According to receipts filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), Swalwell for Congress spent $21,200.75 in six separate transactions this past April at the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay in northern California. The California Democrat’s wife, Brittany, has worked at the hotel as its director of transient sales since February of 2015, according to her LinkedIn page.
Other eyebrow-raising expenditures, which were first reported by Fox News, include nearly $11,000 on car services, more than $6,000 of which was spent in 21 transactions with NYC-based Sunny’s Executive Sedan across May and June.
The Swalwell campaign also showed a taste for red meat, spending more than $2,100 at Washington, DC steakhouse Charlie Palmer’s, $374.90 at another capital eatery, St. Anselm, and $232.31 at STK Steakhouse’s downtown NYC location. They also utilized the alcohol delivery service Drizly to the tune of $566.04 on nine separate occasions between the start of April and the end of June.
There is no suggestion that any of the Swalwell campaign’s spending was illegal. However, the fact that it shelled out more than half a million dollars across the country during three months of a non-election year on behalf of a congressman in a non-competitive House seat indicates Swalwell’s high profile in the Democratic Party.
The five-term House member has been supported by fellow Democrats in leadership despite being linked to the female Chinese intelligence agent Fang Fang, who federal investigators say cozied up to Swalwell and other up-and-coming politicians — going so far as to sleep with at least two mayors during her period of activity between 2011 and 2015.
Swalwell has denied any wrongdoing in the honeytrap affair and says he has cooperated fully with the FBI investigation, but has remained tight-lipped on the nature of his relationship with Fang, who reportedly helped place at least one intern in Swalwell’s congressional office and raised funds for his 2014 re-election campaign.
In the second quarter of 2019 — which includes the period when Swalwell announced his quixotic campaign for president — Swalwell for Congress did not spend more than $21,000 on a single transaction. The most the campaign spent on a hotel during those three months was $1,561.12 for a stay at Washington’s notorious Watergate, and the itemized transportation receipts include trips in New York City cabs rather than limos.
Between then and now, Swalwell emerged as a prominent Trump critic despite his unsuccessful presidential run, a rise that culminated in him being chosen as one of the House managers for the second impeachment trial of the former president.
This is not the first time Swalwell’s apparent taste for the finer things has drawn scrutiny. Earlier this year, Swalwell and four other House members went on a trip to the Middle Eastern nation of Qatar. The $84,621.59 bill for the jaunt was paid for by the US-Qatar Business Council.
The journey produced the memorable image of Swalwell, who was joined on the trip by his wife, posing shirtless on a camel alongside fellow House Democrat Ruben Gallego of Arizona.
Swalwell’s office did not respond to requests for comment by The Post.