WASHINGTON—Today, House Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.), Subcommittee on Government Operations Ranking Member Jody Hice (R-Ga.), Subcommittee on National Security Ranking Member Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.), Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy Ranking Member Michael Cloud (R-Texas), Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Ranking Member Chip Roy (R-Texas), and Subcommittee on Environment Ranking Member Mark Green (R-Tenn.) sent a letter to the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Christopher Wray, expressing concerns regarding recent reports that indicate a Chinese Communist Party (CCP) spy targeted a Member of Congress on the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees to gain access and influence. The letter also highlights various methods the CCP is actively using to gather important, sensitive information from Americans and calls on the FBI to hold an immediate briefing on the depth and breadth of the CCP’s infiltration in U.S. government institutions.
“On our own soil, Chinese Communist Party intelligence operatives are strategically implementing new, creative ways to gain access and influence. We already know that the CCP seeks to infiltrate our academic institutions, allowing China to spew propaganda and potentially steal America’s intellectual property. Unfazed, the CCP is now targeting our most distinguished institutions and high-profile government officials,” said Ranking Member Comer. “Just this past week, it was revealed that a U.S. Representative with access to sensitive information developed a close relationship with an undercover Chinese spy. We must ensure Members of Congress remain uncompromised from the attempts of our adversaries to plunder classified intelligence and influence American leadership. Going forward, understanding the scope of the CCP’s whole operation is critical to combating and preventing any future attempts to undermine our U.S. government institutions.”
Earlier this year, Ranking Member Comer was joined by House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Education and Labor Committee Ranking Member Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) in demanding that six of our nation’s leading universities provide all records of donations from foreign governments and rogue regimes. The investigation seeks to hold America’s educational system accountable for failing to disclose its monetary ties to the CCP.
Below is the full letter to Director Wray.
The Honorable Christopher Wray
Federal Bureau of Investigation
935 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20535
Dear Director Wray:
We write concerning the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) matter preventing and combating the attempts of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to spy on American citizens, steal intellectual property, and suppress free speech of American CCP dissenters. Recent reporting suggests these CCP attempts have garnered significant results, including interacting with a Member of Congress on the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees.
For several months, Committee on Oversight and Reform Republicans have been conducting oversight on all aspects of malign influence by the CCP, particularly the use of spies or covert agents to infiltrate America’s most sacred educational and governmental institutions. This year we have inquired into institutes of higher education failing to disclose monetary ties to the CCP, CCP disinformation campaigns regarding the origins and severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, CCP providing false information to the World Health Organization (WHO), and CCP theft of American COVID-19 vaccine research. It is imperative we treat the CCP as what they are-adversaries. Indeed, the Director of National Intelligence recently proclaimed China as “the greatest threat to America today” and the greatest threat to democracy and freedom world-wide since World War II.”
According to media reports, the CCP intelligence operative known as Fang Fang had developed extensive relationships with elected officials at every level of government, including a Democrat U.S. Congressman. U.S. intelligence officials believe Fang Fang’s operation was orchestrated by the CCP’s primary civilian spy agency, the Ministry of State Security (MSS), between 2011 and 2015. The operative targeted primarily Democrat politicians in the San Francisco area, but also around the country. Fang Fang gained influence through campaigning, fundraising, and cultivating romantic relationships with elected officials and their staff. This allowed her to learn these officials’ habits, schedules, and preferences, potentially to share this information with the MSS.
Depending on the total number of active CCP operatives and the breadth of the MSS operation across our country, any number of elected officials could potentially be compromised without even knowing it. Therefore, to help us better understand the depth and breadth of CCP influence in government institutions, as well as the FBI’s efforts to investigate and affirmatively combat CCP efforts, please schedule a staff level briefing on this issue by December 21, 2020.
To schedule the briefing or ask any follow-up or related questions, please contact the Committee on Oversight and Reform staff at (202) 225-5074. This briefing may be conducted remotely for convenience and safety issues. The Committee on Oversight and Reform is the principle oversight committee of the U.S. House of Representatives and has broad authority to investigate “any matter” at “any time” under House Rule X. Thank you in advance for your cooperation with this inquiry.
House Committee on Oversight and Reform