Virginia GOP House candidate Karina Lipsman says her November election opponent, Democratic Rep. Don Beyer, should be stripped of some committee assignments after an investigation found one of her former aides worked with the Chinese Embassy.
An investigation by the House Sergeant at Arms found that Barbara Hamlett, who had worked as a planner in Beyer’s office, had worked on behalf of the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C., to arrange meetings with the offices of the Congress. Beyer fired her after being informed of the findings on Tuesday.
Lipsman, a member of the US defense and intelligence community for 14 years, also called for a congressional investigation into the matter to determine the extent to which national security has been compromised.
“I’ve been involved in investigations of sensitive national security matters before, and it’s very clear to me that, from what we know, this matter needs to be fully investigated by Congress.” , Lipsman said in a statement to FOX News Digital.
HELP OF DEMOCRATIC DEMOCRATIC DON BEYER DISMISSED AFTER WORKING WITH CHINESE EMBASSY
The Ukrainian Republican immigrant also compared the situation to Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-California’s past intimate relationship with a Chinese spy named Fang Fang, who was allegedly involved in raising money for the congressman’s re-election campaign. in 2014. The Chinese national made no donations and there was no evidence of illegal contributions.
“This is a similar situation to what Rep. Eric Swalwell found himself in – Swalwell should be removed from the House Intelligence Committee, and Don Beyer should be removed from the House Ways and Means Committee, which handles international trade and all free trade agreements, as well as the Joint Economic Committee,” Lipsman said.
“The extent of Beyer’s office ties to the Chinese government must be determined, so that the level of national security risk can be determined,” she continued. “His office has clearly been compromised. Again, I have held high level security clearances for years and this situation is consistent with my experience. It needs to be handled very seriously.”
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And in a Twitter thread, Lipsman noted that Virginia’s eighth congressional district represented by Beyer is home to the Pentagon and the CIA. The district includes Arlington County, parts of Fairfax County, and the entire towns of Alexandria and Falls Church.
“This neighborhood, probably more than any other, keeps America safe,” she wrote.
Beyer’s office said the congressman was “completely unaware” of Hamlett’s behavior until he was contacted by the Sergeant-at-Arms.
“As soon as he learned of their existence, he followed all the directives given to him by security officials,” Beyer’s deputy chief of staff, Aaron Fritschner, told National Review. “The staff member in question is no longer employed by Congressman Beyer’s office.”
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Hamlett reportedly reached out to congressional staffers through emails, phone calls and office visits to invite them to meetings and lunches on behalf of Chinese embassy officials.
Two of the appointments were requested in the context of meals, including one at Charlie Palmer Steak located near the Capitol.
After the meeting requests, staff members of the Congressional offices became alarmed and asked the Sergeant-at-Arms to investigate. The Sergeant-at-Arms reportedly contacted federal counterintelligence authorities about the matter.