Former Republican Congressman Jim Leach, who endorsed Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden, has seen former staffers exit his office to lobby on behalf of Chinese government-linked companies including military proxies.
The “Republican,” who also flip-flopped to support Barack Obama instead of John McCain in the 2008 election, signed a letter declaring himself “concerned about our nation’s security and standing in the world under the leadership of Donald Trump.”
Leach’s letter, which insists President Trump has cozied up to dictators such as Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping and, as a result, “imperiled America’s security,” is hypocritical given that Leach has seen former high-level staffers exit his office to lobby on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party.
Michael Borden, who served as a Legislative Assistant to the former Iowa Congressman from 2004 to 2007, leveraged those credentials to join lobbying behemoth and law firm Sidley Austin as a Partner. While at the company, Leach lobbied on behalf of two Chinese Communist Party-linked entities: Alibaba and Hikvision.
Borden’s lobbying contract on behalf of Hikvision began in June of 2018, and has already garnered the firm nearly $3,400,000. Sidley lobbied U.S. Congress, the State Department, the Commerce Department, and the Treasury Department on matters of “prohibitions on certain video surveillance equipment in the National Defense Authorization Act (HR 5515) and other potential legislation.”
Hikvision is a manufacturer and supplier of video surveillance equipment with deep ties to the Chinese Communist Party given its status as a state-owned company. What’s more, the company identified by the U.S. Department of Defense as a Chinese Communist Party military proxy.
Many fear the data recorded by the company’s surveillance equipment could easily end up in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.
Despite these fears, Borden had no issue lobbying on behalf of the company in an attempt to reverse the ban and grant the company – and by extension the Chinese Communist Party – a greater ability to spy on the U.S.
The other lucrative contract Borden inked at Sidley Austin was with e-commerce giant Alibaba, beginning in January of 2012 for nearly $300,000.
In 2015 Forbes reported the “Chinese Government Has A Huge “Stake” In Alibaba” and The New York Times unearthed the company’s “deep political connections of the investment firms, Boyu Capital, Citic Capital Holdings and CDB Capital, the China Development Bank’s private investment arm” in 2014. The Times also noted Alibaba’s “senior executive ranks included sons or grandsons of the most powerful members of the ruling Communist Party.”
Both lobbying registrations are still active.
The Alibaba and Hikvision hires cast former Congressman Leach’s dealings with the Chinese Communist Party while in office in an interesting light: why would the Chinese Communist Party knowingly hire a lobbyist they felt had worked against their interests?
The Leach-endorsed letter, which also proposes President Trump is “dangerously unfit” for a second term and has over 70 signatories, comes from the “Former Republican National Security Officials For Biden,” a project of the “Republicans for the Rule of Law” project.
The group is a hotbed for politicians like Leach – Never Trumpers and establishment-style Republicans – who are keen on selling out America to the Chinese Communist Party in the name of profit.