Congressional Probe into NIH and FBI
"Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), who chairs the House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, and Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Chairwoman Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.) sent letters demanding documents about the two agencies' investigations into whether Chinese Americans were working as spies on behalf of China," The Hill reported on February 20, 2020.
"While the two lawmakers acknowledged that there have been some confirmed cases of espionage, they questioned whether the focus on Chinese Americans amounted to racial profiling."
In their letter to Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) Director Christopher Wray, Reps. Raskin and Chu pointed to sample cases of Sherry Chen, Professor Xiaoxing Xi and Dr. Wei Su and requested specific information of the FBI investigations and prosecutions involving theft or attempted threat of intellectual property, monitoring of Chinese students and scholars, communications with NIH, college and university security efforts, and counterintelligence training materials, covering the period of January 1, 2014 to the present. The House Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties requested the FBI delivery of documents by March 5, 2020.
In their letter to National Institute of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins, Reps. Raskin and Chu requested specific information about mass mailings by NIH to 18,000 administrators, cases under NIH investigations and Office of Inspector General referrals, disclosure guidelines, and all communications with the FBI, covering the period of June 1, 2016 to the present. The House Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties requested the NIH delivery of documents by March 5, 2020.
Links and References
2020/02/25 NBC News: Democratic lawmakers launch investigation into FBI handling of Chinese espionage
JDSupra: House Members Send Letters to FBI, NIH Directors on Possible Racial Profiling of Chinese Scientists
Homeland Preparedness News: Lawmakers seek information on targeting Chinese-American scientists as potential spies
2020/02/21 Law360: Congress Probes Civil Rights Issues In China Investigations
2020/02/20 Bloomberg: House Panel Investigates Racial Profiling of Chinese Scientists
2020/02/20 Washington Examiner: 'New Red Scare': House Democrats scrutinize FBI investigations into ethnically Chinese scientists
2020/02/20 The Hill: House Democrats launch probe into NIH and FBI suspecting Chinese Americans of espionage
2020/02/20 Congressional letter to NIH Director Francis Collins
2020/02/20 Congressional letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff
As part of his opening remarks during the House Intelligence Committee hearing on "China's Digital Authoritarianism: Surveillance, Influence, and Political Control" on May 16, 2019, Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) stated:
I would like to end on a serious note about the importance of ensuring that we confront the issue ahead in the most objective way, and consistent with our Nation’s principles and values. While competition with China is inevitable, conflict is not and we must strive to avoid making it so. We must also guard against betraying our values at home even as we champion them abroad. There must be no place for racial profiling or ethnic targeting in meeting to rise of China. In America, one of our enduring strengths is welcoming and celebrating diversity. Chinese Americans have made countless contributions to our society. Chinese Americans are Grammy-winning producers, Olympic medalists, cutting-edge scientists, successful entrepreneurs, academics, acclaimed artists, and some of our most successful intelligence officers and national security professionals. We would all be wise to view Chinese Americans as one source of our great strength and not with pernicious suspicion.