This month we learned that Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) had a Chinese spy on her staff for about 20 years, including while she headed the Senate Intelligence Committee . (Wait…did you learn that? See the poll below…) The mole was listed as an “office director” on payroll records and served as her driver when she was in San Francisco. Meanwhile, he reported to China’s Ministry of State Security through China’s San Francisco Consulate.
Confronted with this embarrassing information, Feinstein virtually pronounced it a “nothingburger.” (Current definition of “nothingburger”: any scandal involving the Obama administration or a prominent Democrat office-holder that would be headlines for weeks if the officials involved were Republicans.) “Five years ago the FBI informed me it had concerns that an administrative member of my California staff was potentially being sought out by the Chinese government to provide information,” Feinstein said in a statement. “He never had access to classified or sensitive information or legislative matters.”
It’s not that simple, and if Feinstein really thinks that, then she was an extremely incompetent chair of the Intelligence Committee. In a Washington Post opinion column—the paper barely mentioned the story in its news pages–Mark Thiessen revealed what he was told by several former senior intelligence and law enforcement officials. The consensus: this was a significant breach:
A former top CIA clandestine officer explained to me what the agency would do if it had recruited the driver of a senior official such as Feinstein. “We would have the driver record on his phone all conversations that Feinstein would have with passengers and phone calls in her car. If she left her phone, iPad or laptop in the car while she went to meetings, social events, dinners, etc., we would have the driver download all her devices. If the driver drove for her for 20 years, he would probably would have had access to her office and homes. We would have had the source put down an audio device in her office or homes if the opportunity presented itself. Depending on the take from all of what the source reported, we would use the info to target others that were close to her and exhibited some type of vulnerability.”
“In short,” this officer said, “we would have had a field day.”
So why isn’t this a huge news story, while the Times and the Post and CNN are breathlessly following the Manafort trial as if it has anything to do with Russian interference in the 2016 election or the Trump campaign, which it doesn’t? As of three days ago, no major network other than Fox had covered the story. Meanwhile, Senator Lindsay Graham had a pointed question worthy of coverage, which he asked on Fox:
“I didn’t know about it until yesterday… apparently about five years ago the FBI told Dianne Feinstein that one of her employees may be an agent of the Chinese government. And that was the right thing to do. And she fired him. We are going to send a letter to Director Wray next week and ask him, what is the policy? Why didn’t you tell President Trump that you had concerns about Carter Page? Is there a double standard here? If this is a counterintelligence investigation not a criminal investigation, the FBI should have told President Trump that they had concerns about Papadopoulos and Paige. Why didn’t they do for Trump what they did for Feinstein?”
Good question, though I think the answer is obvious, just as I think the answer to why the mainstream media is burying the Chinese spy story is obvious. It makes a powerful and prominent Democrats look bad. Can’t have that!
Here are two polls: