House Democratic aide fired after reportedly working on behalf of 'friends' at Chinese Embassy

Longtime staffer allegedly tried to arrange meetings with Chinese officials.

Updated: October 29, 2022 - 12:33pm

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A Democratic staffer on Capitol Hill was fired this week after it was found that she had reportedly been working to arrange meetings with U.S. representatives on behalf of purported "friends" of hers at the Chinese Embassy. 

Barbara Hamlett, a three-decade-plus veteran of Capitol Hill, was dismissed from the office of Democratic Rep. Don Beyer after "her outreach to other congressional aides allegedly on behalf of the Chinese embassy" was discovered via internal investigations, National Review reported this week. 

Hamlett allegedly "sent emails to, placed phone calls to, and even showed up at the offices of other congressional staffers in order to invite them to meetings with Chinese embassy staff," National Review reported. The magazine had earlier been tipped off to the allegations by "congressional sources."

One source told the magazine that Hamlett "engaged in highly inappropriate behavior to facilitate interactions between the embassy and congressional offices on foreign-policy and national-security matters," though she did not have access to "sensitive national-security information" in Beyer's office.

At one point she allegedly told one Republican aide in an email that she "would like to introduce you to some friends of mine that work at the Chinese Embassy who would like to meet you and have a chat."

Beyer's office told National Review that Beyer himself "had no inkling of this staffer's actions and acted promptly upon learning of them."