The revelation that Sen. Dianne Feinstein had a 20-year employee who spied for China while she chaired the Senate Intelligence Committee takes on greater significance in light of the California Democrat’s decades of favors to the communist regime that have co-coincided with China investments that have helped make her one of the richest members in Congress.
Investigative reporter Paul Sperry noted Feinstein’s multi-millionaire investor husband, Richard C. Blum, has been able to take large stakes in Chinese state-run steel and food companies, brokering more than $100 million in deals since 1996, when China began aggressively currying favor with his wife.
In a 2001 expose on Feinstein, Sperry, then WND’s Washington bureau chief, reported the business interests already had spanned two decades, going back to Feinstein’s tenure as San Francisco mayor, from 1978 to 1988.
The couple, Sperry pointed out in a New York Post piece Wednesday, live in a $17 million mansion in San Francisco and keep a $5 million vacation home in Hawaii.
Last week, Politico Magazine reported the Feinstein employee in her San Francisco office reported back to China’s Ministry of State Security for more than a decade before he was caught in 2013, according to the FBI.
Feinstein says that when the FBI informed her of his activities, she immediately fired him and insisted he had “no access to sensitive information” and that he was never charged with espionage.
But Sperry noted in his 2001 report that in June 1996 – after the staffer had begun working for Feinstein – the FBI discovered the Chinese government was attempting to curry favor with the senator.
At the time, Feinstein was a member of the East Asian and Pacific Affairs subcommittee of the Foreign Relations Committee, which oversees U.S.-China relations.
Investigators warned her in a classified briefing, Sperry found, that Beijing might try to influence her through illegal campaign contributions laundered through front corporations and other cutouts.
After a Justice Department probe of widespread illegal fundraising during the 1996 re-election campaign of President Bill Clinton, Feinstein returned more than $12,000 in contributions from donors associated with Chinese “bagman” John Huang, who was later convicted of campaign-finance fraud.
Feinstein, however, still managed to get Beijing’s favored-nation trade status extended. To do so, she had to defend communist China’s human rights violations.
In 1997, for example, she compared the 1989 Tianamen Square massacre to the 1970 Kent State shootings. She called for the presidents of China and the U.S. to appoint a human-rights commission “charting the evolution of human rights in both countries over the last 20 to 30 years” that “would point out the successes and failures – both Tiananmen Square and Kent State – and make recommendations for goals for the future.”
The senator also led efforts to bring China into the World Trade Organization in 1999, which granted Beijing permanent normal trade relations status and removed the annual congressional review of its human-rights and weapons-proliferation records.
WND reported this week that while China continues its decades-long trade with the West, the officially atheist ruling Communist Party is engaging in a new effort to dictate and even displace the practice of religious faith in the country. Under President Xi Jinping, regarded as China’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong, Christian believers are “seeing their freedoms shrink dramatically even as the country undergoes a religious revival.”