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Staffer of US lawmaker sacked for working on behalf of Chinese Embassy: Report

Washington: An aide to Democratic lawmaker Don Beyer in the US state of Virginia was fired this week for allegedly working on behalf of the Chinese Embassy in Washington, according to a National Review report.
Barbara Hamlett worked as a scheduler for the US lawmaker. Barbara's sacking followed a probe and consultation with federal counterintelligence officials, the report adds. According to the National Review report, Barbara allegedly reached out to other Congressional staffers and attempted to arrange meetings between them and Chinese Embassy officials.
Beyer's office said that they had no inkling of this staffer's actions and acted promptly upon learning of them. Beyer was quick to sack Hamlett after he learned of these allegations.
"While Congressman Beyer had no inkling of this staffer's actions and acted promptly upon learning of them, he understands that his constituents may be shocked to learn of this, just as he was," says Beyer's deputy chief of staff Aaron Fritschner.
"He pledges to them that he will remain a fierce critic of China's record, continue to oppose the CCP's totalitarian repression of its citizens, and hold himself and his staff to the highest professional and ethical standards," he adds.
This report comes amid a huge spike in cases where China is found undermining the Rule of Law in foreign countries, particularly in the United States.
The US government this month charged 13 individuals, including members of China's security and intelligence apparatus and their agents, for alleged efforts to unlawfully exert influence in the United States for the benefit of their government.
"The Justice Department will not tolerate attempts by any foreign power to undermine the Rule of Law upon which our democracy is based. We will continue to fiercely protect the rights guaranteed to everyone in our country. And we will defend the integrity of our institutions," U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland, as quoted in the Justice Department press statement.
Seven Chinese nationals were charged - two of whom were arrested on Oct. 20 in New York - with participating in a scheme to cause the forced repatriation of a Chinese national residing in the United States.
The defendants are accused of conducting surveillance of and engaging in a campaign to harass and coerce a U.S. resident to return to China as part of an international extralegal repatriation effort known as "Operation Fox Hunt." (ANI)

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