Matthew Penarczyk – a top lawyer for Microsoft and Hillary Clinton donor – is joining the Chinese Communist Party-linked TikTok app as its top lawyer.
Penarczyk, who worked as a general counsel at Microsoft for nearly two decades, joined the controversial social media platform as its Head of Legal. The position makes him the “top lawyer” at the company and has him overseeing the U.S. and broader Americas region, including South America.
Penarczyk new employer, however, has deep ties to the Chinese Communist Party. TikTok’s parent company ByteDance employs former Chinese Communist Party officials, including individuals with military ties, to executive roles and grants party members preferential treatment in hiring processes. Its founder has also pledged to use ByteDance to “promote socialist core values” and devotion to the Chinese Communist Party.
The app’s threat to national security and data privacy prompted the Trump administration to attempt to ban the platform from operating in the U.S. – an effort recently quashed by the Biden White House.
Penarczyk has donated nearly $20,000 to campaigns, all of which have gone to Democratic candidates, according to the Federal Election Commission (FEC). $10,000 of his donations supported the 2016 presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton, including two donations worth $2,300 and $2,700 in the general election and one $5,000 donation during the Democratic primary.
Senators Chuck Schumer and Biden’s replacement Chris Coons have also received thousands from the new TikTok hire.
The news comes as former Whitewater prosecutor Stephen Binhak – who called on Congress to impeach Donald Trump amidst false conspiracies over Russian collusion – registered to lobby on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party-linked tech firm Huawei.
Shortly after, Tony Podesta – brother of Democrat Party bigwig John Podesta –was announced as a lobbyist for the same Chinese Communist tech giant.