A House Democratic staffer was fired after her outreach to other congressional aides allegedly on behalf of the Chinese embassy was revealed this week, National Review has learned. After an investigation found that the staffer had acted improperly, her boss, Representative Don Beyer, swiftly removed her.
“Congressman Beyer was totally unaware of these activities prior to being contacted by the House Sergeant At Arms,” Aaron Fritschner, his deputy chief of staff, told National Review in a statement this morning. “As soon as he learned of them, he followed every directive he was given by security officials. The staffer in question is no longer employed by the office of Congressman Beyer.”
Fritschner added that Beyer, who has a hawkish record on China, was “deeply upset” upon learning about the activities of the now-former staffer, Barbara Hamlett. He said Beyer “has been an outspoken critic of China’s record on human rights — including their crackdown in Hong Kong and their oppression of the Muslim Uyghur population in Xinjiang — as well as an advocate for Tibet, and a vocal supporter of Taiwan.” The Virginia Democratic congressman traveled to Taiwan in August, soon after House speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the country.
Fritschner said that Beyer will continue to counter the Chinese Communist Party, claiming he had no knowledge of the staffer’s activities:
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. 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.