By Rick Moran
The issue of a Chinese spy working in the office of California senator Dianne Feinstein has become the non-story of the year – perhaps of the young century. Details of the whys and wherefores regarding the employment of a Chinese operative in the office of the former chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee don’t seem to interest anyone in particular, but especially the media and even leading Republicans.
It’s as if a veil has been drawn over the entire story. And what a story it is.
The questions that Feinstein herself is avoiding are related not only to the spy in her office, but also to Feinstein’s longstanding ties with the Chinese communist government and the cozy relationship she has cultivated with it.
The Federalist’s Ben Weingarten catalogued some of those ties:
- Feinstein had cultivated a deep, longstanding, chummy relationship with China, including at the highest ranks of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), over a 40-year period. Or, perhaps, it was the other way around. Such ties dated back at least to the opening of a sister-city relationship between San Francisco and Shanghai, when then-Mayor Feinstein commenced a long friendship with her counterpart Mayor Jiang Zemin. Zemin would later rise to be the Xi Jinping of his day, sitting atop the CCP, and reportedly wining and dining Feinstein and her husband in unprecedented fashion at the residence of Mao Zedong. Zemin rose in tandem with Feinstein, who as U.S. senator would serve as a conduit to his government during the Clinton White House. The two remained close in spite of Zemin’s Marxist ideology and brutality in persecuting the dissident Falun Gong, among others.
- Feinstein doggedly lobbied for integrating China into the global economic architecture and normalizing trade relations with the U.S., untethering these benefits from Chinese human rights improvements. Feinstein thereby served as an invaluable asset in enabling China’s economic rise. The senator also frequently served as a dovish liaison to the Chinese government over contentious matters of foreign affairs. She took these positions all while repeatedly whitewashing China’s aforementioned human rights abuses, and seeking to draw shameful moral equivalency between Communist bloodshed and violent episodes in American history.
Feinstein’s husband, Richard Blum, has personally profited from his wife’s relationship with the Chinese government.
Did you even know the name of the Chinese spy? Russell Lowe’s identity has been conveniently misplaced in the media, but his longstanding leftist activism and association with an anti-Japanese nonprofit group should have been widely reported. Lowe served as office director and liaison to the Asian community. This put him smack in the middle of Feinstein’s work, allowing him to observe, to listen, to read documents – all of which would have been immensely valuable to the Chinese government even if, as the senator’s office claims, Lowe had no access to classified information.
Weingarten spoke with a former CIA operative on his podcast who explains the enormous threat to national security. He described the situation as:
… incredibly troubling, and part and parcel of what they’re [the Chinese] doing across the board on a massive scale. And the response to this from [Feinstein’s] office, you know, where they acknowledged that this guy was dismissed … but claim he didn’t have technical direct access to classified information, is just mind-boggling. …
I mean, imagine that you have the functional equivalent in the Chinese government of somebody with her access, and we have an American source on our payroll sitting inside her office. We would consider that to be a coup of epic proportions. The access that individual would have, the conversations they would overhear, the documents they would see, the insights they would provide into mindset, meetings that were being held, I mean it’s just breathtaking to think about the access. So you know, saying something to the effect that technically he didn’t have classified access is just silliness.
So why has the cone of silence been lowered over this story by everyone? We know the media are soft-pedaling the story to avoid damaging one of their favorite politicians. But Democrats and Republicans have their own reasons to deep-six the matter.
As for the political class, sadly, it is not worth entertaining the possibility that Democrats would investigate their colleague. Why the GOP establishment remains mum on Feinstein and China is an issue that deserves deeper scrutiny.
In terms of election year politics, it may well be that congressional Republicans view Feinstein’s opponent, California state Senate Majority Leader Kevin de León, as even worse for its agenda than Feinstein. So why engage in an investigation that might damage her politically? Further, the establishment may believe it politically advantageous to let fester the intra-party fight between the Left and the far Left.
This might explain why the only response by senior members of the GOP to the Feinstein-China revelations has been to highlight the double standard between the FBI tipping Feinstein off, for at least the second time, as to China’s efforts to influence her office, and its silence – not to mention embedding of spies within the Trump presidential campaign team – regarding Russia’s alleged efforts to influence then-candidate Trump. Relatedly, the president himself raised the broader hypocrisy of Feinstein’s pursuit of the Trump-Russia investigation while she herself appears to have had a foreign spy in her house.
Weingarten correctly surmises that the lack of curiosity by both parties about this story is “a sad commentary that they are prioritizing politics over national security.” The first step in remedying that situation would be to assess the damage to U.S. security as a result of Chinese penetration. It is likely that U.S. intelligence is doing that to the best of its ability. But you have to wonder how much cooperation agents are getting from the senator’s office and the Senate Intelligence Committee.
After all, this is a non-story that never happened.