AOC paid campaign cash to Chinese foreign agent; other candidates caught up in growing scandal

During the 2022 midterm elections, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and several of her colleagues, including one Republican, paid advertising costs to a Chinese newspaper that the Department of Justice classifies as a “foreign agent.”

The newspaper, Sing Tao U.S., is a subsidiary of the Hong Kong-based Sing Tao News Corporation Ltd, and in 2021 it was forced to register as a “foreign agent.’

But even after it registered as a “foreign agent,” Reps. Ocasio-Cortez, Kevin Mullin, Grace Meng, and Nicole Malliotakis (the Republican) paid for its services.

“Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign dropped nearly $1,500 on advertisements with Sing Tao Newspapers during the midterm election cycle after it had registered as a foreign agent, while Reps. Mullin, Meng, and Malliotakis paid between $1,000 and $7,000 to various Sing Tao entities as part of their campaign advertising expenses,” Fox News has confirmed.

(Source: Video screenshot)

To be fair, Sing Tao U.S. has disputed its status as a “foreign agent,” though the Department of Justice clearly disagrees.

“Sing Tao disputes its status as a foreign agent, but according to filings this week under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, the DOJ determined the newspaper’s U.S. operations qualified as foreign influence efforts,” Axios reported back when the company registered as a “foreign agent.”

Also, the company has claimed to be privately owned and thus not under the influence of the Chinese Communist Party. Of course, this is little comfort given the party’s known attempts to control the flow of all information.

The aforementioned members of Congress aren’t the only ones linked to Sing Tao. So is California Gov. Gavin Newsom.

The Epoch Times notes that “several prominent elected officials in California sent Sing Tao US video greetings during its 83rd anniversary gala in early August [2021].”

“During the banquet, multiple prominent politicians and elected officials, along with the Consul General of the San Francisco Chinese Consulate and the California governor, praised the company and staff. Sing Tao also invited a choir to sing ‘red songs,’ which promote the Chinese Communist Party (CCP),” according to the outlet.

The gala can be seen below, with Newsom making his grand entrance around the 2:25 mark:

The paper is evidently very pro-Beijing.

“Its owners are members of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, a government advisory group controlled by the Chinese Communist Party. One of the owners, Charles Ho, last year defended a national security law that has been used to arrest pro-democracy journalists in Hong Kong,” the Washington Free Beacon notes.

It wasn’t always this way.

“Keep in mind, 30 to 40 years ago, Sing Tao newspaper was a completely different newspaper than what Sing Tao is today. During the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre, Sing Tao was very much pro-democracy, supporting the student movement on Tiananmen Square, and criticizing the bloody massacre done by the Chinese communist regime in Beijing,” according to China expert Nathan Su.

But that was then, and this is now. And for some reason, the likes of Ocasio-Cortez, Newsom, and Malliotakis didn’t seem to care when forking over advertising cash. Though in Malliotakis’ defense, she was a freshman congresswoman at the time she made her payment.

As for Ocasio-Cortez, now a veteran lawmaker, this is one of many financial scandals she’s been involved with. She last violated federal campaign finance disclosure rules in August by not filing her paperwork in time.

“Ocasio-Cortez was due to report her 2021 finances to the House Ethics Committee 11 days ago on Aug. 13. However, the public remains in the dark as to the status of Ocasio-Cortez’s finances as of Wednesday morning,” the Washington Examiner reported at the time.

“[A] spokeswoman for the New York lawmaker said Ocasio-Cortez feels no rush to file her disclosure as required by federal law because she can wait another 20 days before risking a fine,” the Examiner added.

Prior to this, Ocasio-Cortez faced an FEC complaint in 2019 accusing her then-chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, of misusing money collected by two of his pro-AOC political action committees.

The complaint by the National Legal and Policy Center specifically alleged that after Chakrabarti launched two pro-AOC PACs, he transferred nearly a million in campaign donations from the PACs to two of his private companies. He did so under the guise that the companies had provided “strategic consulting” to the PACs.

“The FEC complaint asserts that Chakrabarti established two PACs, the Brand New Congress PAC and Justice Democrats PAC, and then systematically transferred more than $885,000 in contributions received by those PACs to the Brand New Campaign LLC and the Brand New Congress LLC,” Fox News reported.

“Although large financial transfers from PACs to LLCs are not necessarily improper, the complaint argues that the goal of the ‘extensive’ scheme was seemingly to illegally dodge detailed legal reporting requirements of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, which are designed to track campaign expenditures.”


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