Spy In The ‘Hen’s House’
Politico Magazine reported on July 27, “Chinese intelligence once recruited a staff member at a California office of U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, and the source reported back to China about local politics,” describing the staffer as “a liaison to the local Chinese community” who was secretly “reporting back” to Chinese intelligence services.
Since then, more details have emerged about the alleged spy, including that he worked for Feinstein for 20 years, “attended Chinese consulate functions for the senator” and was fired five years ago. Feinstein has said that the spy had “no access to sensitive information,” and the former staffer was never prosecuted.
She said, “Five years ago the FBI informed me it had concerns that an administrative member of my California staff was potentially being sought out by the Chinese government to provide information. He was not a mole or a spy, but someone who a foreign intelligence service thought it could recruit. The FBI reviewed the matter, shared its concerns with me and the employee immediately left my office. He never had access to classified or sensitive information or legislative matters. The FBI never informed me of any compromise of national security information.”
Now more questions are being raised not only about the spy but about Feinstein’s closeness to the Chinese. No US politician is believed to enjoy ties to China’s previous and present-day leaderships as close as Feinstein. During 30 years of frequent visits to Beijing, Feinstein developed friendships with Chinese officials as high-ranking as former president Jiang Zemin, former premier Zhu Rongji and Chongqing Party Secretary Bo Xilai who was a rising political star in the country but was removed from his prominent provincial post after a scandal involving one of his key deputies.
Controversially, on most of her trips to China, Feinstein has been accompanied by her investment-banker husband Richard Blum, to whom Feinstein has been married since 1980.
Feinstein is often described as one of the most powerful women in US politics.
Blum has been reported by US media as having extensive business interests with China and is a board member of COSCO [The PLA’s Chinese Overseas Shipping Corporation] and he has other investments in China.