GOP Lawmaker Seeks to Hold DOJ Accountable for Its Efforts Countering Chinese Espionage

In the aftermath of the Biden administration’s cancelation of the Trump-era anti-espionage program, the China Initiative, one lawmaker is demanding that the Department of Justice (DOJ) be held accountable for countering and reporting on threats from the Chinese regime.Rep. Scott Fitzgerald (R-Wis.) introduced the Countering Chinese Espionage Reporting Act (H.R. 7325) on March 31. The bill would “direct the Attorney General to prepare a report on the Department of Justice activities related to countering Chinese national security threats, and for other purposes.” In February, the DOJ announced that it was ending its “China Initiative,” a Trump-era program aimed at preventing espionage activity by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and more. Speaking to the Epoch Times, Fitzgerald said the Biden administration’s decision to nix the strategy was part of “a knee jerk reaction to anything coming out of the Trump administration.” The move to end the initiative became “the real genesis” of H.R. 7325, Fitzgerald said. As his congressional office began putting together the bill, he said there was “a good response” from other judiciary and leadership personnel who understood that a report may help thwart national security threats from the Chinese regime. By his estimation, a DOJ annual report to describe activities and operations related to countering the Chinese regime’s national security threats and espionage in the United States would become “quite valuable at this juncture,” considering how much the regime has infiltrated and taken advantage of American resources for years. Fitzgerald emphasized that “there is truly a genuine national security concern when it comes to the Chinese regime.” He is particularly concerned about the theft of trade secrets, intellectual property and research theft, and threats from others, including researchers in laboratories, at universities, and at defense industrial base facilities. “There are also many other examples, [resulting in] criminal charges and convictions of individuals guilty of grant fraud, visa fraud, and lying to federal prosecutors,” he added. Too Threatening to Dismantle Frank Gaffney, executive chairman and founder of the Center for Security Policy, a Washington-based think tank, told The Epoch Times that the premise of a bill to “hold those responsible for protecting [the United States] from [the Chinese regime] is not only advisable, but absolutely essential—especially in light of the Biden administration’s decision to terminate the program that was already underway.” Gaffney considers it “completely unconscionable that the China Initiative is not simply being deemphasized but entirely dismantled.” He noted the longstanding threat of the Chinese regime, pointing out that Beijing has engaged in unrestricted warfare against the United States for over 20 years, if not longer. “And today,” he said, “the country is now facing the greatest threat in its history from the CCP.” Gaffney said the DOJ and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) should be “relentlessly pursuing” whatever evidence it can to establish and illustrate how the Chinese regime is “waging war inside the United States through its penetration of research institutes, academic centers, laboratories, through the theft of intellectual property, and more.” Accordingly, he said, “this should be job number one for the DOJ and FBI.” Evidence Ignored, Threat Advanced At the end of last year, Charles Lieber, the former chair of chemistry at Harvard, was convicted of making false statements in relation to funding received from China and his connection to a Chinese state-sponsored recruitment plan that U.S. officials have said facilitate the transfer of American technology and knowhow to China. Fitzgerald said Lieber’s case appeared to “fall on deaf ears,” explaining that “it certainly didn’t rise to the level of significance that it needed to.” According to Fitzgerald, this is merely one example of “[the] concrete evidence that something needs to be done [to] confront an abundance of threats to the national security of the United States.” The text of H.R. 7325 points out several “pervasive and growing threats to United States domestic national security” by the CCP. These include trade secret theft, economic espionage, threats to critical infrastructure and supply chains, and more. Gaffney said, “the threats are not only coming from a Chinese regime across the Pacific but can also be placed at the hands of agents of influence or ‘useful idiots’ in our own country that are aiding and abetting them.” The United States has been “deeply comprised by the CCP,” Gaffney continued. “And when you have a commander-in-chief, the president of the United States, dismantling a China Initiative that appeared to be working,” he said, “it speaks volumes about the degree to which the country is positioning itself to move itself closer to mortal peril.” The Epoch Times has reached out to the Justice Department for comment.

GOP Lawmaker Seeks to Hold DOJ Accountable for Its Efforts Countering Chinese Espionage

In the aftermath of the Biden administration’s cancelation of the Trump-era anti-espionage program, the China Initiative, one lawmaker is demanding that the Department of Justice (DOJ) be held accountable for countering and reporting on threats from the Chinese regime.

Rep. Scott Fitzgerald (R-Wis.) introduced the Countering Chinese Espionage Reporting Act (H.R. 7325) on March 31. The bill would “direct the Attorney General to prepare a report on the Department of Justice activities related to countering Chinese national security threats, and for other purposes.”

In February, the DOJ announced that it was ending its “China Initiative,” a Trump-era program aimed at preventing espionage activity by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and more. Speaking to the Epoch Times, Fitzgerald said the Biden administration’s decision to nix the strategy was part of “a knee jerk reaction to anything coming out of the Trump administration.”

The move to end the initiative became “the real genesis” of H.R. 7325, Fitzgerald said. As his congressional office began putting together the bill, he said there was “a good response” from other judiciary and leadership personnel who understood that a report may help thwart national security threats from the Chinese regime.

By his estimation, a DOJ annual report to describe activities and operations related to countering the Chinese regime’s national security threats and espionage in the United States would become “quite valuable at this juncture,” considering how much the regime has infiltrated and taken advantage of American resources for years.

Fitzgerald emphasized that “there is truly a genuine national security concern when it comes to the Chinese regime.” He is particularly concerned about the theft of trade secrets, intellectual property and research theft, and threats from others, including researchers in laboratories, at universities, and at defense industrial base facilities.

“There are also many other examples, [resulting in] criminal charges and convictions of individuals guilty of grant fraud, visa fraud, and lying to federal prosecutors,” he added.

Too Threatening to Dismantle

Frank Gaffney, executive chairman and founder of the Center for Security Policy, a Washington-based think tank, told The Epoch Times that the premise of a bill to “hold those responsible for protecting [the United States] from [the Chinese regime] is not only advisable, but absolutely essential—especially in light of the Biden administration’s decision to terminate the program that was already underway.”

Gaffney considers it “completely unconscionable that the China Initiative is not simply being deemphasized but entirely dismantled.”

He noted the longstanding threat of the Chinese regime, pointing out that Beijing has engaged in unrestricted warfare against the United States for over 20 years, if not longer. “And today,” he said, “the country is now facing the greatest threat in its history from the CCP.”

Gaffney said the DOJ and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) should be “relentlessly pursuing” whatever evidence it can to establish and illustrate how the Chinese regime is “waging war inside the United States through its penetration of research institutes, academic centers, laboratories, through the theft of intellectual property, and more.” Accordingly, he said, “this should be job number one for the DOJ and FBI.”

Evidence Ignored, Threat Advanced

At the end of last year, Charles Lieber, the former chair of chemistry at Harvard, was convicted of making false statements in relation to funding received from China and his connection to a Chinese state-sponsored recruitment plan that U.S. officials have said facilitate the transfer of American technology and knowhow to China.

Fitzgerald said Lieber’s case appeared to “fall on deaf ears,” explaining that “it certainly didn’t rise to the level of significance that it needed to.” According to Fitzgerald, this is merely one example of “[the] concrete evidence that something needs to be done [to] confront an abundance of threats to the national security of the United States.”

The text of H.R. 7325 points out several “pervasive and growing threats to United States domestic national security” by the CCP. These include trade secret theft, economic espionage, threats to critical infrastructure and supply chains, and more.

Gaffney said, “the threats are not only coming from a Chinese regime across the Pacific but can also be placed at the hands of agents of influence or ‘useful idiots’ in our own country that are aiding and abetting them.”

The United States has been “deeply comprised by the CCP,” Gaffney continued. “And when you have a commander-in-chief, the president of the United States, dismantling a China Initiative that appeared to be working,” he said, “it speaks volumes about the degree to which the country is positioning itself to move itself closer to mortal peril.”

The Epoch Times has reached out to the Justice Department for comment.

J.M. Phelps

Freelance reporter

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J.M. Phelps is a writer and researcher of both Islamist and Chinese threats.