Monday, August 13, 2018

LICENSE TO STEAL: Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s Family and Their Chinese Fortune Cookie

By Lloyd Billingsley

“The leader of the Russia investigation, Dianne Feinstein, had a Chinese spy as her driver for 20 years,” President Trump told an Ohio rally on Saturday, August 4. That was the first time most Americans heard of this spy but the president was not breaking the news.

In “How Silicon Valley Became a Den of Spies,” a July 27 Politico story, Zach Dorfman wrote, “Former intelligence officials told me that Chinese intelligence once recruited a staff member at a California office of U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, and the source reported back to China about local politics. (A spokesperson for Feinstein said the office doesn’t comment on personnel matters or investigations, but noted that no Feinstein staffer in California has ever had a security clearance.)”

On August 1, San Francisco Chronicle columnists Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross wrote a piece headlined “Feinstein had a Chinese spy connection she didn’t know about — her driver.”

A “local source” confirmed that the FBI showed up at Feinstein’s office five years ago with news that her driver was being investigated for spying. Besides driving, the unnamed Chinese spy “also served as gofer in her San Francisco office and as a liaison to the Asian American community, even attending Chinese Consulate functions for the senator.”

According to the source, “the intrigue started years earlier when the staffer took a trip to Asia to visit relatives and was befriended by someone” who was “connected with the People’s Republic of China’s Ministry of State Security.” The staffer didn’t even know that he was being recruited and thought it was “some friend.” The FBI “apparently concluded the driver hadn’t revealed anything of substance.” Feinstein was “mortified,” forced the staffer to retire, “and that was the end of it.” And according to the source, “None of her staff ever knew what was going on. They just kept it quiet.”

Plenty to ponder there but for the establishment media the story became Trump “trolling” the senator, and few showed interest in the spy himself. Nothing emerged in 2013 when the FBI showed up at Feinstein’s office, but following the Trump speech details were coming to light.

For some writers, the spy’s profile fit Russell Lowe, listed as Feinstein’s “office director,” and who worked 20 years for the senator. Lowe’s bio for a February 2017 event said he had followed China since Nixon’s visit in 1972, and worked five years with Senator Alan Cranston. In this account Lowe first went to China in 1975, and other visits followed through the early 1990s. Since 1997, Lowe had visited China every year for a month at a time. One report cited a 2007 obituary of Mariam Lew claiming her son Russell Lowe was an engineer, photojournalist, community organizer and staff aide to Feinstein.

In some accounts, Russell Lowe now works at the Education for Social Justice Foundation, whose mission is “to provide education on past injustices relegated to the sidelines of history.” The only injustice on the site is Japan’s sexual enslavement of Asian women before and during World War II. Conveniently escaping notice are the massive atrocities of China’s Communist dictatorship, with casualties in the millions, and the occupation of Tibet since the 1950s.  

Dianne Feinstein was an easy mark for China’s spy,” headlined an article by Paul Sperry, a former media fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution. As Sperry notes, after Feinstein took on the staffer, the FBI detected that the Chinese government was seeking favors from the senator, who sat on key committees overseeing relations with China. The FBI warned about illegal campaign contributions and Feinstein returned more than $12,000 from donors associated with Clinton crony John Huang.  

Even so, China got extension of its favored trade status, Perry writes, “thanks in part to Feinstein.” The wealthy San Francisco Democrat played down China’s human rights violations, equating Tiananmen Square with Kent State. In 1999, Feinstein led efforts to bring China into the World Trade Organization, which “removed the annual congressional review of its human-rights and weapons-proliferation records,” a huge win for the Communist regime. 

That regime recruited a spy who enjoyed a 20-year run in Sen. Feinstein’s office. When the FBI caught on to the espionage, they duly warned the senator, but by all appearances no charges were filed and Feinstein staffers “just kept it quiet.” That was supposedly “the end of it” but questions remain. 

What information, exactly, did the spy pass on to China? Why did the “mortified” Sen. Feinstein allow the spy to “retire” rather than fire him? Why were no charges filed against an agent of a hostile foreign power? What did Feinstein know and when did she know it? And so on.

An FBI-DOJ investigation could bring some clarity for the people. An official probe, perhaps with a special counsel, would signal that FBI and DOJ bosses no longer collude with powerful Democrats against Republican candidates.

During the administration of POTUS 44, the Comey FBI gave the Trump campaign no warning of foreign meddling. The Comey FBI cleared former First Lady Hillary Clinton of gross negligence with classified information and recommended no charges against the Democrat. The Comey FBI leaked information and used a fake dossier, financed by former Secretary of State Clinton, to place spies in the Trump campaign.

Trump won anyway but under the famous “insurance policy” special counsel Robert Mueller is prosecuting former Trump staffers for activities that took place long before the 2016 campaign.

This ongoing “witch hunt,” as the president calls it, has produced no evidence of collusion with Russia.


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