Last week, Senator Dianne Feinstein’s longtime driver was outted as a Chinese spy. But it was discovered by the FBI 5 years ago and the individual was never arrested and it was never made public.
It was revealed last week that Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)’s driver for 20 years was a Chinese spy. But it was discovered five years ago by the FBI and never disclosed until Politico and San Francisco Chronicle uncovered it. Now more questions are being raised not only about the spy but about Feinstein’s closeness to the Chinese.
Feinstein’s driver also represented her at various functions and acted as a liaison to the Chinese community. Although the FBI advised her five years ago, it wasn’t made public and the driver was allowed to quietly retire. He was never arrested. Neither the FBI or Feinstein ever informed or questioned her staff about him or what they might know. And presumably, that means they also didn’t check other staff to see if anyone else had been compromised.
This raises lots of questions. The excuse for not charging him was it was judged he hadn’t passed anything top secret to the Chinese. But he had passed information to them. So why was he never charged? Even for failing to register as a foreign agent? Why is he still not being named?
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 – now arguably a rising political star in the country.
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. Blum has been reported by US media as having extensive business interests with China. Feinstein is often described as one of the most powerful women in US politics.
But perhaps her worst reaction in commenting on the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. It’s still not clear how many people were killed when the Chinese government sent the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) into the square to clear out the peaceful protesting students.
But in a Wall Street Journal interview in 2010, Feinstein sought to explain the massacre in the best possible light for the Communist Party and the government.
“It just so happens I was here after that and talked to Jiang Zemin and learned that at the time China had no local police. It was just the PLA. And no local police that had crowd control. So, hence the tanks.”
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