Another Democrat Connected To America’s Enemies

Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-NY) spent thousands of dollars from his campaign as a foreign agent to run advertisements in a Chinese-owned publication. However, the House Democrat now asserts that he is investigating the financial transfers, stating that they occurred “unknowingly.”

“They will never receive anything from us again if they have any connection to the Chinese Communist Party,” Suozzi declared. “The CCP has spread its tentacles across our society in an attempt to sway the dissemination of truth and falsehoods. These are only a few of the lesser-known instances; [China] is making highly sophisticated efforts.

Co-chairman of a congressional caucus that has expressed concerns about China’s treatment of Uyghur ethnic minorities, Suozzi made these remarks in an interview with the Washington Examiner after the publication contacted him with a series of inquiries regarding more than $7,200 that his campaign had given to a Sing Tao U.S. subsidiary located in New York in February. Sing Tao received the money in New York specifically for “print advertising.”

Records filed with the Department of Justice show that in 2021, the Biden administration compelled the Chinese-owned daily to register as a foreign agent involved in “political action.” The journal also asserts its affiliation with the United Front Work Department of the Chinese Communist Party, which the US government acknowledges as responsible for organizing the party’s influence and intelligence activities abroad.

As he attempts to retain his House position in 2024, Suozzi will probably face allegations of hypocrisy in the wake of the Sing Tao payments. Earlier this year, the opponent of China emerged victorious in a special election to replace the expelled Republican Rep. George Santos of New York. Suozzi frequently criticizes China for its monitoring and detention of Uyghur Muslims in its autonomous Xinjiang province, which the State Department ruled in 2021 to be genocide. Suozzi has denounced the CCP for “egregious attacks on democracy and human rights.”

The congressman has previously stated that the United States must resist Beijing’s attempts to “extend its sphere of influence” and its “sophisticated strategy to rule the world.”

In an interview with the Washington Examiner, Suozzi said that he “unknowingly” promoted Sing Tao. He claimed that the circumstances seem to demonstrate “how insidious” the CCP is.

“Consider what is happening to average individuals on a regular basis if I were a congressman and I was not aware of it,” he remarked.

In the 3rd Congressional District of New York, Mike LiPetri, the Republican opponent facing Suozzi in November, stated that Suozzi’s payments need examination. An independent election watchdog, Cook Political Report, projects that the district will be “likely Democrat” in 2024.

LiPetri, a former state assemblyman from New York, stated that “NY-03 deserves a congressman who will stand up to China and its human rights crimes, not feed their communist wallets with cash that fuels their infiltration and influence-peddling operations.”

Sing Tao U.S. is linked to a Hong Kong-based publication that allegedly supported officials on China’s National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, an influential CCP advisory body. A business in southeast China acquired more than half of Sing Tao’s material in 2021, according to DOJ papers.

Based on censorship to regulate information in the news, online, and on social media, the Chinese government has one of the most restrictive media environments in the world, according to the Council on Foreign Relations.

Since Newsweek revealed on Sunday that Sing Tao’s CEO assisted in planning a parade with New York City Mayor Eric Adams—a Democrat under fire for taking contributions connected to the Chinese Communist Party—Sing Tao’s influence in the United States has come under increased scrutiny.

However, officeholders’ propensity to write money to Sing Tao is not unique to the Suozzi campaign.

Eight additional legislators paid $41,500 to Sing Tao, according to a Washington Examiner investigation from August of last year. This led one politician, Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), to announce that her staff was looking into the matter.

In recent years, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has acknowledged on social media that she paid Sing Tao. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY) is another legislator who gave Sing Tao money. Several foreign policy specialists, who specialize in China, have expressed concern about these payments, despite the lack of proof that they were unlawful.

Richard Goldberg, senior counsel to the Foundation for Defense of Democracies think tank, stated that incorporating the Foreign Agents Registration Act into the due diligence process may require a genuine bipartisan, top-down effort inside the campaign business.

Campaigns would be prudent to provide candidates with written instructions so they “understand the hazards connected with supporting or otherwise cooperating with foreign government-controlled enterprises,” Goldberg told the Washington Examiner, considering the CCP’s influence effort in the United States.

Author: Blake Ambrose

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