Opinion| Two former head Obama White House officials have been found to be working on behalf of Huawei, a Chinese telecom giant which is currently seen as a threat by national security, according to the Trump administration.
The Washington Examiner reported:
President Trump signed an executive order Wednesday likely aimed at limiting the influence of Huawei, ZTE, and other Chinese companies the U.S. intelligence community and law enforcement officials see as threats.
But Samir Jain, Obama’s senior director for cybersecurity policy for the National Security Council, registered as a lobbyist for Huawei in March 2019, and James Cole, who was Obama’s deputy attorney general from 2011 to 2015, has represented Huawei since 2017 as an attorney with law firm Sidley.
Jain’s own biography explains that he “represented the DOJ in White House cybersecurity meetings and international negotiations, such as China’s agreement not to engage in cyber-enabled intellectual property theft for commercial gain,” but he is now lobbying for Huawei when it comes to topics like “foreign investment, government purchasing, and security-related issues arising under the National Defense Authorization Act,” his disclosure filing revealed.
Cole has defended Huawei against criminal charges presented by the DOJ of “bank fraud, conspiracy to defraud the U.S., conspiracy to commit money laundering, obstruction of justice, illegal actions related to dodging Iran sanctions, and more,” according to the Examiner.
The Department of Justice is currently trying to disqualify Cole, who was Obama’s number two at the Justice Department for five consecutive years, from “defending Huawei for his previous experiences investigating Huawei-related matters while at the DOJ,” the Examiner reported.
The President’s executive order says that “foreign adversaries are creating and exploiting vulnerabilities in information and communications technology and services to commit economic and industrial espionage, and aims to limit the acquisition and use of technology from firms that could be assisting those adversaries,” the Examiner notes.
Via the Washington Examiner:
The U.S. is particularly concerned about the influence that Chinese-based companies such as Huawei could have on the cellular network technology known as 5G, which is poised to revolutionize internet speed, broadband access, and global communications. The U.S. government widely suspects that Huawei, a global leader in telecommunications and in 5G, is working hand-in-hand with the Chinese government and is giving China’s surveillance state access to hardware and to networks around the world.
- The Justice Department has been increasing its scrutiny of China’s activities in recent years, launching a “China Initiative” in 2018 and charging an increased number of people in China-related espionage cases, cracking down on Chinese hackers, prosecuting Chinese efforts to steal secrets, and more. The department is also seeking the extradition from Canada of Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer Wanzhou Meng, the daughter of the company’s billionaire founder and who the U.S. believes was involved in the company’s criminal conspiracy.
There is bipartisan agreement regarding the clear national security threat that Huawei and other Chinese technology firms pose to the United States.
Last month, the President tweeted, “Chinese Telecom Giant Huawei hires former Obama Cyber Security Official as lobbyist. This is not good, or acceptable!”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 15, 2019