Seven Republican Senators voted on Wednesday to confirm Eric Garcetti, President Joe Biden’s nominee for ambassador to India and former Los Angeles mayor, despite his ties to individuals belonging to alleged Chinese Communist Party (CCP) intelligence front groups.
Republican Sens. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Steve Daines of Montana, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Bill Hagerty of Tennessee, Roger Marshall of Kansas and Todd Young of Indiana voted to confirm Garcetti following a delay of over 20 months arising from allegations that, while in office, he helped cover up sexual assaults committed by his former aide, Rick Jacobs. The confirmation vote, 52-42, also comes just days after the Daily Caller News Foundation revealed that a mayoral fund set up by Garcetti accepted over $1 million in donations from individuals who belong to alleged CCP influence and intelligence fronts. (RELATED: ‘Huge Red Flag’: Inside Biden Nominee Eric Garcetti’s Ties To Members Of Alleged Chinese Intel Front Groups)
“We need an ambassador to India,” Graham told the DCNF.
“As a former U.S. Ambassador to Japan, I know firsthand that this is a critical U.S. diplomatic position,” Hagerty told the DCNF. “Our relations with India are vital to our strategic interests in the Indo-Pacific.”
Cassidy, Collins, Daines, Marshall and Young did not respond immediately to the DCNF’s requests for comment.
Conversely, after the vote, Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio told reporters: “I don’t think he’s qualified, especially with all the questions still circling around his previous tenure.”
Shortly after the 2014 founding of the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles — a nonprofit which reportedly allowed donors to further Garcetti’s agenda without donating to his political campaign — the organization began accepting funds from Dominic Ng, president and CEO of East West Bank, and Walter Wang, head of JM Eagle, who both have ties to alleged CCP intel front groups, the DCNF recently reported.
Wang donated $200,000 to the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles in 2014 and $1 million in 2020, according to multiple media reports.
Ng, whom Biden appointed to represent the U.S. at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), donated $20,000 to Garcetti’s nonprofit in 2014, according to The Los Angeles Times.
Garcetti first came under fire in 2020 after his deputy chief of staff, Jacobs, was accused of sexual harassment by a former Los Angeles Police Department officer, Matthew Garza.
Subsequently, Naomi Seligman, Garcetti’s former communications director, alleged that Jacobs kissed her.
“It’s heartbreaking not just for me and the other whistleblowers and victims in this case, but also for those who are living through sexual harassment and abuse right now and look to our political leaders to protect them if they come forward with credible evidence,” Seligman told the DCNF. “Predators persist in their abuse only if enablers in positions of power allow them to.”
“Eric Garcetti enabled, tolerated and covered up years of sexual abuse,” Whistleblower Aid, a nonprofit which represents Seligman, said in a statement. “The Senate has voted against its own values, against the truth and against the interests of our relationship with the world’s largest democracy.”In addition to receiving over $1 million in donations from members of alleged CCP intel front groups, Garcetti also headlined events in both the U.S. and China alongside such individuals, the DCNF determined.
In 2014, Garcetti traveled to China with a trade delegation and met Qiu Yuanping, the “executive vice chairman” of the China Overseas Exchange Association (COEA), an organization to which both Ng and Wang belonged.
COEA allegedly serves the United Front Work Department (UFWD), a CCP agency identified as a “Chinese intelligence service” by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC) in 2016.
Garcetti also met with representatives from the China-United States Exchange Foundation and the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries on multiple occasions in both the U.S. and China, the DCNF discovered.
The Embassy of India did not respond immediately to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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