According to a new story, a worker for Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) was fired after the aide’s apparent ties to the Chinese embassy were revealed.
The National Review announced on Friday that Barbara Hamlett, Beyer’s secretary, had left the congressman’s office following a probe by the House sergeant-at-arms and Beyer’s office. According to the investigations, Hamlett was arranging sessions involving congressional offices and the Chinese embassy.
“Congressman Beyer was completely uninformed of these activities before being alerted by the House Sergeant At Arms,” Beyer’s chief of staff deputy Aaron Fritschner informed National Review on Friday. “As soon as he learned of them, he obeyed every order issued by security personnel. The person in question is no longer employed by Congressman Beyer’s office.”
Fritschner stated that Beyer was “very concerned” by the discoveries and that the congressman remained steadfast in his goal of protecting the United States from Chinese threats. Beyer “has been a vocal opponent of China’s human rights record, especially their crackdown in Hong Kong and abuse of the Muslim Uyghur community in Xinjiang,” according to Fritschner, as well as an advocate for Tibet and a vociferous backer of Taiwan.
Beyer’s office stated he had no “inkling” that his staffer was reportedly working with the Chinese embassy, but the House sergeant at arms alerted him on Tuesday that Hamlett had arranged meetings between personnel at the embassy as well as other congressional offices.
One of the emails received by a congressional office was disclosed to National Review.
“I have served on The Hill for approximately 34 years, with 5 of those years as Deputy Secretary to the deceased Sen. Arlen Specter,” Hamlett wrote in an email. “I’d want to introduce you to some of my friends who are employed at the Chinese Embassy and would be happy to meet you and talk.”
Beyer’s inquiry corroborated the meetings, which Hamlett attempted to set up with at least two Republican offices.
One congressional worker who spoke with National Review said he went to one of those meetings and was pressed about a “law” supported by his boss that the embassy official opposed as Hamlett sat at another table.
Hamlett has worked in numerous congressional staff jobs for nearly 40 years.