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    The Washington Monument is seen beyond the US State Department's flag June 30, 2015 in Washington, DC

    US State Dept. Employee Charged With Lying to FBI About Chinese Intel Agents

    © AFP 2019 / BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI
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    Unsealed documents show that the accused, Candace Claiborne, who likely possesses a high-level security clearance, lied to the FBI about meetings with Chinese foreign intelligence operatives.

    Claiborne, a 60-year-old resident of Washington, DC, was charged with “obstructing an official proceeding and making false statements to the FBI,” the State Department said. Both offenses are classified as felonies. 

    The Justice Department claims that in addition to abandoning her duty to report the meetings, the accused received gifts from Chinese foreign agents, perhaps as part of a "pay to play" type scheme.

    The soon-to-be former State Department employee exploited her position and “access to sensitive diplomatic data for personal profit,” the DOJ noted. 

    Law enforcement officials found probable cause to believe that Claiborne had selectively remembered her engagements “with foreign intelligence agents” occurring over "a number of years," when she debriefed the FBI about her personal history. 

    It is not clear why Claiborne was asked by the FBI to share these details, nor is it clear whether there are significant implications to Claiborne’s alleged lies.

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    crime, State Department, FBI, China, Washington
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