Elections

Dianne Feinstein’s China Syndrome

The San Francisco Democrat has an enduring romance with Communist China.

Since the election of Donald Trump in 2016, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, 79, has spearheaded the Democrats’ surge to impeach the president. As that campaign unfolds, observers of all parties have reason to cast their eyes upon Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). The San Francisco Democrat, 86, has a curious take on recent revelations from Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz.

“This was not a politically motivated investigation,” Feinstein announced during the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing last week. “There is no deep state.”

On the other hand, according to the inspector general’s report, a cabal of Justice Department and FBI bosses faked evidence to trick the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and mounted illegal investigations first on candidate and then on President Trump. While Peter Strzok, Lisa Page and others at the FBI were up to their eyeballs spying on the Republican presidential campaign, it emerged that Senator Feinstein employed a Communist Chinese spy as her driver for almost 20 years.

This multitasking chap also served in Feinstein’s San Francisco office and even attended Chinese Consulate functions on the senator’s behalf. The FBI warned Feinstein about the spy, but the role of FISA in his discovery remains obscure. The spy had been in place for three election cycles but Feinstein never faced high-volume charges of channeling foreign influence in American elections.

“Feinstein, Husband Hold Strong China Connections,” headlined a March 28, 1997, Los Angeles Times story. Feinstein “has emerged as one of the staunchest proponents of closer U.S. relations with China, fighting for permanent most-favored-nation trading status for Beijing,” the Times reported. Feinstein’s husband Richard Blum, the story explained, “is now a prominent investor inside the communist nation,” and “such closely coinciding interests are highly unusual for major figures in public life in Washington.”

Communist China received favored trade status thanks largely to Feinstein, who played down China’s human rights violations by comparing Tiananmen Square with Kent State. In 1999, Feinstein spearheaded efforts to bring China into the World Trade Organization, which removed annual review of the regime’s record on human rights and weapons proliferation.

As the Los Angeles Times reported on October 20, 2000, Feinstein’s husband, “continues to manage a partnership that has invested in China.”

“I’ve been coming to China for 31 years, so I’m not a newcomer,” Feinstein told the Wall Street Journal during a visit to Shanghai in 2006. In Beijing “we spent time with Zhu Rongji, the former premier who was a mayor of Shanghai” and “a good friend.”

Feinstein, along with then-Senators Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.), met with Wu Bangguo, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress. Feinstein went on record that Tiananmen Square was “a setback for China” but admitted “we did not discuss it.”

In 2014, on the 25th anniversary of the massacre, Feinstein issued a statement recalling “perhaps even thousands” of demonstrators killed. “I know of no other country that has made as much economic and industrial progress in the last 25 years than China,” the senator said. “But what this anniversary reminds us is that progress still must be made in the areas of human rights, rule of law and governance.”

Feinstein did not chart any actual progress the Communist regime had made on those fronts. This year, on the 30th anniversary of the massacre, no statement appeared, and Feinstein does not stand out as a champion of democratic protesters in Hong Kong. Like Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the San Francisco Democrat reserves her wrath for Trump and those he appoints.

In 2017, Feinstein told Appeals Court nominee Amy Barrett, “the dogma lives loudly within you, and that’s a concern.” As Justice on Trial co-author Carrie Severino observed, the “dogma” was Barrett’s Catholic faith, and “Feinstein’s not-so-subtle suggestion was that an observant Catholic could not also be a fair and impartial judge.”

Feinstein went on to script the hearing for Trump Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, starring Christine Blasey Ford, the girl who had one beer too many. So Feinstein has a lot in common with Howard Metzenbaum, the former Communist who spearheaded the smear on Clarence Thomas in 1991. Feinstein has never run for president, but she also has something in common with Joe Biden.

In effect, husband Richard Blum is Feinstein’s Hunter Biden, and she champions China’s economic progress while downplaying the regime’s repressions. Feinstein maintained a Chinese Communist spy on her staff through three elections but never faced an investigation. If anybody thought it was time to start one it would be hard to blame them.