Aide to Dem Congressman Fired After Allegedly Working with Chinese

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Upon learning that a veteran staff member was reportedly coordinating meetings with other offices on behalf of the Chinese Embassy, Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), fired her.

The alleged improper behavior by the staff member was uncovered during an investigation by the House sergeant at arms, who on Tuesday alerted Beyer’s office. After that, the employee was let go, according to National Review.

Aaron Fritschner, Beyer’s deputy chief of staff, told National Review, “Congressman Beyer was totally unaware of these activities prior to being contacted by the House Sergeant At Arms.”

He continued by saying that as soon as he was made aware of them, he obeyed all instructions from security personnel. The concerned staff member is no longer working for Congressman Beyer’s office.

According to her LinkedIn page, Barbara Hamlett, formerly employed by Beyer, has worked in legislative offices since the 1970s.

She formerly worked for senators such as the late Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA), former Rep. Diane Watson (D-CA), Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA), Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), and former Rep. Charlie Rangel. She was a scheduler in Beyer’s office (D-NY).

According to reports, Hamlett recently invited staffers to meetings with Chinese Embassy officials through email, phone call, and appearance at other congressional offices.

According to National Review, two of the meetings were apparently planned over meals, including one at the well-known DC steakhouse Charlie Palmer Steak.

The inquiries reportedly concerned employees at other legislative offices to the point where they alerted the sergeant at arms’ office for an investigation. According to reports, the sergeant at arms spoke with federal counterintelligence authorities about the situation.

According to a congressional aide who spoke with National Review, Hamlett visited his office and requested him to out into the hallway where she informed him that the Chinese Embassy has been attempting to reach me since she is acquainted with them.

The assistant claimed that after agreeing to a coffee meeting, Hamlett sat at a different table with a female representative of the Chinese Embassy while he spoke privately with a male employee of the embassy who disagreed with a piece of legislation proposed by the employee’s supervisor.

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