Aug. 09, 2018 11:39AM EST
A ranking senator's driver
was a Chinese spy for 20 years
In July, 2017, Politico writer Zach Dorfman wrote an in-depth piece on
Chinese intelligence gathering in the Silicon Valley area of California.
The piece was focused on China's acquisition of modern tech, but a
small blurb in the middle of the piece noted that one of Senator Dianne
Feinstein's staffers reported to the Chinese Ministry of State Security,
China's foreign intelligence agency.
The staffer was a spy, working for a Senator on the Select Committee
California State Senator Dianne Feinstein, take a group photo with Sailors and Marines
from California at Camp Fallujah, Iraq.
(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt. Blankenship)
Politico's sources were only referred to as "noted former intelligence
officials." The San Francisco Chronicle took the opportunity to
investigate further. The newspaper's source was an unnamed local
who confirmed the FBI showed up at the Senator's office in Washington
in 2013 to address the incident. The FBI alleged the Senator's driver
was recruited by Chinese MSS and reported back to the Chinese
consulate in San Francisco.
The Chronicle noted that the driver was only her driver in San Francisco,
but he did attend functions for her at the Chinese consulate. The FBI
apparently concluded that the driver didn't have access to anything
of substance and couldn't have revealed anything to the Chinese.
The newspaper says Feinstein forced the driver to retire and that
was the end of it.
President Trump, joined by, from left to right, U.S. Senators John Cornyn,
and Marco Rubio, February 28, 2018, in the Cabinet Room at the White House in Washington, D.C.
(White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)
This all happened five years ago.
Feinstein's communist spy story is reemerging this week due to a
Twitter exchange between the Senator and President Trump, who
mocked Senator Feinstein for a two-year investigation about the spy.
San Francisco's local CBS affiliate KPIX talked to former FBI agent and
security analyst Jeff Harp about the incident. Harp was running counter-
espionage activities in the city, saying Chinese spies would be interested
in everything from business, research, and politics to diplomatic secrets.
He says politicians are trained what to say and what not to say around
people who don't have security clearances, but noted that 20 years is a
long time to be around someone day in, and day out — and slip-ups are
"Think about Dianne Feinstein and what she had access to," said
Harp. "One, she had access to the Chinese community here in San
Francisco; great amount of political influence. Two, correct me if
I'm wrong, Dianne Feinstein still has very close ties to the
intelligence committees there in Washington, D.C."