Politics

Democratic Staffer Fired After Covertly Working With Chinese Embassy

(Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Dylan Housman Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent
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A staffer for Democratic Virginia Rep. Don Beyer was fired this week for allegedly working on behalf of the Chinese Embassy in Washington to set up meetings with other Congressional aides, according to a National Review report.

The staffer, Barbara Hamlett, allegedly reached out to other Congressional staffers and attempted to arrange meetings between them and Chinese Embassy officials for at least several months, National Review reported. Beyer quickly fired Hamlett after he learned of the allegations against her and investigated.

“While Congressman Beyer had no inkling of this staffer’s actions and acted promptly upon learning of them, he understands that his constituents may be shocked to learn of this, just as he was,” Beyer’s deputy chief of staff Aaron Fritschner said. “He pledges to them that he will remain a fierce critic of China’s record, continue to oppose the CCP’s totalitarian repression of its citizens, and hold himself and his staff to the highest professional and ethical standards.”

The House Sergeant at Arms (SAA) reportedly first told Beyer of the reports Tuesday, prompting Beyer’s office to investigate the claims Wednesday. They confirmed she had attempted to arrange meetings with staffers from at least two Republican Congressional offices, and terminated her employment. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Chinese Donor, Fundraiser For NYC Mayor Eric Adams Worked Closely With Communist Party Influence Operation)

One staffer said Hamlett called his office and then showed up in person after he had turned down multiple meeting requests from the Chinese Embassy regarding one of their boss’s bills. She attempted to arrange a lunch, and the staffer agreed to coffee. Hamlett attended the meeting but sat at a separate table with another embassy staffer, while the Congressional aide met one-on-one with another.

Hamlett worked as a scheduler for Beyer. She reportedly did not have access to any sensitive national security information she could have passed to the Chinese. Prior to her firing, she was a 34-year veteran of Capitol Hill.