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Top Republicans on House Judiciary ask AG why charges dropped against Chinese spies

The Chinese researchers were purportedly charged under a Trump administration initiative aimed to investigate allegations of economic espionage.

Updated: September 27, 2021 - 5:49pm

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Top Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee on Monday asked Attorney General Merrick Garland why the Justice Department has dismissed charges against six suspected Chinese spies. 

The GOP lawmakers – Rep. Jim Jordan, the committee's top Republican, and committee member Rep. Andy Biggs – asked Garland in a letter in which they posed four questions to the country's top law enforcement officer including one asking about "recent developments" that led to the charges being dropped.

In July, the federal government moved to dismiss cases against five Chinese researchers charged with lying about ties to the Chinese military on visa applications. The decision follows a mistrial in another case.

They were purportedly charged under a Trump administration initiative that aimed to investigate allegations of economic espionage and trade secret theft.

Jordan, of Ohio, and Biggs, of Arizona, in the four-page letter asks whether the Biden administration supports the previous administration's China Initiative and whether it has any plans to "reform, prioritize, or reinforce its duties and responsibilities."  

"The (Justice) Department said that dismissing the cases was 'in the interest of justice.' However, other reports suggest the Department dismissed the cases for other reasons, including the FBI supposedly failing to Mirandize and FBI questions about the value of bringing these cases. Others suggest that the timing of the dismissals – mere days before the Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman’s first trip to China – is dubious," they also wrote.

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