FBI accuses US State Department official of contacts with Chinese spies

US Department of StateAn employee of the United States Department of State has been charged with lying to authorities about her contacts with Chinese intelligence operatives, who gave her money and gifts in return for information. Candace Claiborne, 60, joined the Department of State in 1999 as an office management specialist. She lives in Washington, DC, but has served overseas in American diplomatic facilities in Baghdad, Iraq, Khartoum, Sudan, and China, where she was stationed in Beijing and Shanghai. According to information provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Claiborne had a top security clearance, which required her to report contacts with foreign nationals.

However, federal prosecutors said earlier this week that Claiborne interacted on a regular basis with Chinese intelligence personnel without informing her employer. According to court documents, her contacts with the Chinese were extensive and occurred from 2011 until earlier this year. The Chinese gave Claiborne gifts, including computers and smartphones, tuition-free studies in a Chinese technical school, and an all-expenses-paid holiday to Thailand. They also gave her a regular stipend and provided her with a furnished apartment abroad, according to prosecutors. In return, Claiborne allegedly gave the Chinese information relating to American economic policy on China, among other topics.

It appears that the FBI monitored the State Department employee for a while, after securing a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court warrant. When it confronted Claiborne, she apparently denied the accusations and lied to FBI agents. She is now charged with obstruction of justice and providing false statements to the FBI. Claiborne is currently under house arrest and will remain there until April 18, when she will appear at a preliminary hearing in Washington. She is reportedly facing a maximum of 25 years in prison.

Author: Ian Allen | Date: 31 March 2017 | Permalink

Advertisements

3 Responses to FBI accuses US State Department official of contacts with Chinese spies

  1. jones says:

    Her Chinese handlers must have assumed their targeted asset would have short term viability given allegations of monies being received as payment which – of course – can be easily tracked and monitored. Perhaps she was targeted and recruited effectively for a very specific time restraint objective. However, six years is a long time to operate without suspicion under the radar. The probability of an employee or official of US Department of State having unaccounted visible assets i.e. gifts trips, etc., – for an extended period of time – not being on radar of counter intelligence is extremely low – never mind all the serious alleged protocol breaches committed. Definitely an intriguing story to follow.

  2. Ryan says:

    “The probability of an employee or official of US Department of State having unaccounted visible assets i.e. gifts trips, etc., – for an extended period of time – not being on radar of counter intelligence is extremely low ”

    Was she spending or just banking the money (under a mattress or something)? It doesn’t say what her payments were, so it’s possible she could have been spending the money without much suspicion because she wasn’t doing anything lavish.

  3. jones says:

    Ryan: If you follow hyper link in article “According” there is further mention ..”A complaint says Claiborne was given tens of thousands of dollars in gifts and wire transfers by Chinese agents beginning in 2011 in exchange for information about U.S. economic policy in relation to China and other diplomatic matters. ”

    Though your hypothesis – suspicions – are possible even plausible, given dedication,professionalism and assets which can be brought to bear by CI, probability of her going undetected for such an extended period of time is, again, extremely low – lest one believes she was gifted with talents and abilities in the “trade” to evade detection of intelligence agencies task with monitoring such activities. Mole hunters are not to be trifled with. These are extremely dedicated professionals.

    A better question to ask is why she was allowed to continue her activities.

We welcome informed comments and corrections. Send us yours using the form below.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s