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Reps Call for Review Into Alleged FBI ‘Misconduct’ Against Chinese Scientist Accused of Spying

Representatives Ted Lieu, D-Calif., Mondaire Jones, D-N.Y., and Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., have called for a new investigation into the FBI’s actions against a former professor at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville who was charged with concealing his ties to China after the litigation resulted in a mistrial. The Reps. have urged the government to conduct a fresh investigation via a letter delivered to the Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz. In the letter, the lawmakers also call into question the validity of the China Initiative, a Trump-era program that aims to counter economic espionage attempts by China that pushes federal agents to engage in racial profiling.

The FBI allegedly falsely accused Professor Hu of the University of Tennessee of being a Chinese spy, falsely implicated him as an operative for the Chinese military, and used false information to place the individual on the federal no fly-list, among other actions, stated the lawmakers. Hu, a Chinese-born scientist, and Canadian citizen was arrested early last year and charged with federal counts of false statements and wire frauds. Prosecutors accused him of hiding his work with the Beijing University of Technology while participating in a NASA-funded project. Hu was the first academic to stand on non-espionage charges under the China Initiative.

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