SPYS FOR CHINA
Trump replaced the IG investigating Elaine Chao with a loyalist and nominated an official who had already been vetted by Mitch McConnell, who is also implicated in the investigation, to head the office permanently.
Officials from the Department of Transportation (DOT) Office of Inspector General (OIG) and outside colleagues were shocked to learn that President Trump replaced Acting IG Mitchell Behm, a longstanding member of the office, with a political appointee, according to new documents obtained by CREW.
“Mitch, OMG,” wrote one associate. Behm himself commented that the situation was “Wild.”
At the time of his demotion, Behm was overseeing a high profile investigation of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao’s alleged favoritism benefiting her husband Senator Mitch McConnell’s political prospects. The records CREW received suggest that one of the subjects of that investigation informed Behm of the shakeup, and allude to larger concerns about Trump’s pattern of installing loyalists.
Firm run by US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao’s family got federal PPP loan
Foremost Group, a New York-based business Chao’s parents founded, received a loan of between $350,000 and $1 million from the Paycheck Protection Program, according to data the U.S. Small Business Administration released this week.
Foremost Group is helmed by Chao’s father (McConnell’s father-in-law), James S.C. Chao, and her sister (McConnell’s sister-in-law), Angela Chao, who serves as its chairperson and CEO, according to the firm’s website.
Neither Elaine Chao nor McConnell is affiliated with or has a financial stake in the company, which bills itself as “a global leader in the dry bulk shipping industry,”
Elaine Chao’s father, James Si-Cheng Chao, was born and raised in China. He attended the National Chiao Tung University in Shanghai where he met and befriended Jiang Zemin. That friendship was destined to have a significant effect on American politics.
After university, their paths diverged. James Chao joined the China Maritime Trust Limited shipping company as a cadet, rose in the ranks to become one of their youngest merchant marine captains, and moved to Taiwan with the company when the communists seized Shanghai in 1949.
Jiang Zemin went to Moscow to take up a traineeship with the Stalin Automobile Works before returning to China where, after a brief stint with the Changchun First Automobile Works, he was transferred to government services.
James Chao moved to New York in 1958 and, immediately after graduating with an MBA in 1964, founded the Foremost Group, a shipping, trading and finance enterprise. Back in China, Jiang Zemin was rising in prominence and rank to become a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party.
From the South China Morning Post:
He started meeting Mr Jiang regularly, including three months after the Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989, when most other American businessmen were avoiding the leadership.
GUANXI (Chinese term for political connections)
Up until this time, Chao’s eldest daughter, Elaine, had been following in her father’s footsteps with a business degree that led to an early career in banking. Her only foray into politics had been a White House Fellowship in 1983.
But soon after her father renewed his friendship with Jiang Zemin, Elaine left the banking industry and began to forge guanxi of her own in America.
Mr Chao’s daughter was rising in prominence in Republican and …..