The Department of Justice decision to end its investigation of those responsible for China’s theft of trade secrets and intellectual property reflects the Biden administration’s “woke politics,” Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, said Sunday.
In an interview on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” McCaul lamented the probe was “not a priority” for the White House.
Critics have said the initiative, put in place during former President Donald Trump’s administration, amounted to racial profiling and that it created a culture of fear that has chilled scientific research.
“They cite kind of this woke politics, political correctness argument for shutting it down,” McCaul said.
At least 20 academic researchers have faced charges as part of the “China Initiative,” including Charles Lieber, a Harvard University professor convicted in December of lying about his ties to China in connection with federally funded research.
“You know, I live in Texas, we shut down the Houston consulate for a reason,” McCaul said.
“They were stealing intellectual property from universities, from scientists, from NASA, and that’s what it was all geared toward.”
“I was a federal prosecutor,” he noted. “I met with the Attorney General on this very issue. We had a lot of indictments coming down … now we’re seeing it drying up. Why is that?”
“I have to ask that broader question. … to ignore the threat from within, the enemy within the United States which is real and the espionage is real…that’s got to stop.”
Several of the DOJ’s cases were dismissed due to flaws in the evidence or the premise, including one against Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Gang Chen, who was accused of hiding ties to China when seeking federal grant funds.
According to the Justice Department, going forward, it will have a much higher bar and conduct more intense supervision before bringing future criminal cases against academics.
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