According to a letter provided to the Daily Caller News Foundation on Monday, Texas Republican Rep. Lance Gooden urged CIA Director William Burns to address his “strong ties” to the Chinese Communist Party while serving as the former director of a prestigious Washington, D.C., think tank.
Following recent DCNF reports that revealed numerous former Chinese government employees and at least 20 undisclosed CCP members worked at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace during Burns’ presidency between February 2015 and November 2021, Gooden questioned the CIA director’s suitability to hold the position of director. After reviewing hundreds of personnel documents and Chinese-language CCP branch records, the DCNF concluded that Carnegie had employed CCP members.
According to Gooden’s letter,“The vast influence the CCP had at Carnegie during your tenure as president and the continued influence they have today — despite claims you made at your confirmation hearing that you had ended the CCP’s influence — presents a significant lapse in judgment and brings into question your ability to identify and mitigate national security risks.”
When Burns realized that Carnegie was the target of the CCP, how many CCP-affiliated employees Carnegie employed, and whether or not he thought CCP members should be able to work on federal funds were some of the questions Gooden pressured the CIA director to answer.
The letter to the CIA comes just days after the DCNF reported Chinese government employees, including one CCP member, worked on DOD grants worth hundreds of thousands of dollars related to nuclear warfare for Carnegie under Burns. It also comes two weeks after Gooden and Alabama Republican Rep. Mike Rogers called on the Department of Defense (DOD) to stop funding and investigate Carnegie on Aug. 26.
Carnegie’s ties to China first came to light during Burns’ CIA confirmation hearing in February 2021, when Burns informed Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio that he had ended his think tank’s partnership with the Chinese government-backed China-United States Exchange Foundation (CUSEF) “not long after” becoming president.
Burns stated in testimony in February 2021, “This is a relationship that I inherited when I became president of Carnegie, and that I ended not long after I became president, precisely for the concerns that you just described, because we were increasingly worried about the expansion of Chinese influence operations.”
Years prior to Burns’ hearing, CUSEF had registered as a Chinese foreign principal under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, establishing clear evidence of its connections to the Chinese government. Furthermore, in 2018, the same year that CUSEF’s founder, Tung Chee-hwa, was labeled as “clearly associated” with CCP influence operations by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz described CUSEF as a “pseudo-philanthropic foundation” linked to the CCP (USCC).
However, the DCNF found that Carnegie not only continued to take hundreds of millions of dollars from CUSEF under Burns’ administration, but that the think tank also employed secret CCP members, retired Chinese military officers, and government personnel with ties to CUSEF.
Gooden informed the DCNF that “The evidence would suggest Director Burns lied under oath during his confirmation hearing or was grossly incompetent. Lying to Congress is a serious offense, and this is another situation that must be investigated in a Republican Congress. If that investigation confirms he did lie to the Senate, then a referral to the Department of Justice would be appropriate.”
More on this story via The Daily Caller:
The CCP is a dangerous adversary and new legislation specifically targeting CCP members should be adopted, Gooden told the DCNF.
“As China becomes more belligerent and ramps up its genocide and human rights abuses, there should be a serious conversation about blocking visa applications for any or all CCP members,” Gooden said. CONTINUE READING…