A State Department employee was indicted by a federal grand jury on Tuesday on charges that she defrauded the U.S. government when she used her position to secure gifts from Chinese spies.
Conservative Tribune reported that the indictment states that Candace Marie Claiborne, 60, received thousands of dollars in gifts over five years, including vacations, an apartment, Apple electronics and tuition to a Chinese fashion school. She then hid these gifts and contacts with the Chinese from the State Department, which violated her security-clearance requirement that she disclose any gifts from foreign nationals.
Claiborne had worked in the State Department since 1999 and had spent eight years in China. During her career, she worked in several other countries such as Iraq and Sudan. The affidavit stated that she once wrote in a journal that she could “generate 20k in 1 year” through a Chinese agent.
The indictment states that Claiborne knew that the Chinese agents she was receiving gifts from were spies, and that after she learned she was caught, she told co-conspirators to erase the evidence. As a result, she has also been charged with obstructing justice.
Claiborne had known the Chinese nationals since 2007, meaning she was working with them undetected throughout Barack Obama’s entire presidency. This shows how disorganized the State Department was under his leadership.
Claiborne is facing up to 25 years in prison if convicted of obstructing an official proceeding and making false statements to the FBI. Acting Assistant Attorney General Mary McCord said that pursuing government officials who have endangered national security for personal gain was a “key priority of the National Security Division” of Donald Trump’s Justice Department.
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