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House Republicans ask FBI to investigate Biden appointee over potential Espionage Act violations

House Republicans are asking the FBI to investigate and report to Congress about President Biden’s appointee to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), Dominic Ng, over potential Espionage Act violations, according to a new letter.

Led by Rep. Lance Gooden (R-Texas), the six lawmakers accuse Biden of appointing “an individual with existing Chinese Communist Party (CCP) ties,” alleging that Ng — the chairman and CEO of the California-based East West Bank — has worked for two Chinese intelligence operations front groups. 

“The Biden Administration has allowed the CCP to infiltrate the third-party sector and, consequently, political leaders that have existing relationships to these groups and are privy to U.S. intelligence,” the letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray reads. 

“Further encroachments cannot be tolerated, and we request the FBI investigate and provide a report to Congress on the extent of Mr. Ng’s knowledge of sensitive information, as well as any potential violations of the Espionage Act,” it adds. 

Republican Reps. Tom Tiffany (Wis.), Lauren Boebert (Colo.), Ben Cline (Va.), Doug LaMalfa (Calif.), and Keith Self (Texas) signed on to Gooden’s letter. 

The Daily Caller News Foundation, which first reported on the letter, said it found in an investigation that Ng was the executive director of the China Overseas Exchange Association and currently works as executive director of the China Overseas Friendship Association, both of which they allege are front groups for the United Front Work Department.

The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission has said China uses “friendship” associations as part of “what it calls ‘United Front’ work to co-opt and neutralize sources of potential opposition to the policies and authority of its ruling Chinese Communist Party.”

The House Republicans’ letter to Wray argues that the Biden administration should take “immediate steps” to evaluate and address “this lack of scrutiny” in Ng’s appointment.

Assuming the chair role could “expose Mr. Ng and potentially our nation’s secrets to numerous CCP officials and possible intelligence operatives,” the letter says. 

Biden in July of last year appointed Ng to chair the international APEC during the United States’s host year in 2023, after he was appointed months earlier as a U.S. member of APEC’s Business Advisory Council.

Source: The Hill

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