US State Dept ex-employee admits conspiring with Chinese agents

April 25, 2019 09:26
A former US State Department staffer had been accused of exchanging information with Chinese agents in return for expensive gifts. Photo: Reuters

A former US State Department employee pleaded guilty on Wednesday to conspiring with Chinese agents, Reuters reports, citing the US Department of Justice.

The employee, Candace Claiborne, had been accused of lying to law enforcement officers and hiding extensive contacts and gifts from the Chinese agents in exchange for providing them with internal State Department documents, according to the report.

The gifts were said to include cash, international vacations, tuition at a Chinese fashion school, a fully furnished apartment and a monthly stipend provided directly to Claiborne and an unnamed close family member of hers.

In return, she provided copies of internal State Department documents on topics ranging from US economic strategies to dignitaries’ visits between the two countries, according to the Justice Department.

Claiborne, 63, was initially charged in 2017, on the eve of a summit between US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

She faces up to five years in prison.

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