Mitt Romney Asks The DOJ To Hand Over Information On Chinese Agents

Utah Senators Mike Lee and Mitt Romney, along with eight other Republican senators, have penned a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland seeking detailed information on “Overseas Chinese Service Centers” (OCSCs) in the U.S., including one in Salt Lake City.

There are “grave concerns” about these service centers. The letter inquires about potential ties between the centers and Chinese intelligence services. The senators want information from the Department of Justice (DOJ) about seven specific OCSCs in cities such as Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Houston, St. Paul, Charlotte, Omaha, and St. Louis.

The concerns stem from a Daily Caller article that connected the centers to a Chinese agency called the United Front Work Department. This agency is identified as a “Chinese intelligence service” in a congressional report by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. The senators’ letter also highlights meetings between service center representatives and Chinese law enforcement agencies in China, discussing “cross-border remote justice services” overseas.

The senators request a briefing on the issue from the DOJ and responses to five specific questions by July 31, 2023. These questions pertain to:

DOJ’s assessment of any illegal activity by the seven named OCSCs.
DOJ’s actions or investigations related to these OCSCs.
Identification and description of any other OCSCs or similar facilities in the U.S.
Steps to identify every OCSC or similar facility in the U.S.
Measures to prevent China from establishing additional OCSCs or similar facilities in the U.S.

According to a Daily Caller article cited in the letter, the center in Salt Lake City operates as a nonprofit organization using the legal name of the Utah Chinese Civic Center.

The letter also mentions a recent DOJ announcement from April about the arrest of two New York City residents for allegedly running an illegal Chinese government police station.

Senator Ted Budd of North Carolina spearheaded the letter, and it was also signed by Senators Ted Cruz, Thom Tillis, Deb Fischer, John Cornyn, Pete Ricketts, Eric Schmitt, and Josh Hawley.