President Joe Biden’s Justice Department should investigate his own accusations of targeting Asian Americans, Representative Ted Lieu said after a controversial second trial against a Sino-Canadian professor ended in acquittal.
Ministry of Justice (DoJ) “Should ask Professor Anming Hu” and “Do not discriminate against Asians,” The California Democrat tweeted and responded to the outcome of a lawsuit involving a former researcher at the University of Tennessee (UT). “If Hu’s last name was Smith, you would not have brought this case,” he assessed.
Dear @TheJusticeDept: You should refrain from Professor Anming Hu. You need to stop discriminating against Asians. You should investigate your accusers for participating in what looks like racial profiling. If Hu’s last name was Smith, you would not have brought this case. https://t.co/0QriJEmD8J
– Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) September 9, 2021
Hu is a naturalized Canadian citizen of Chinese descent who was targeted by the U.S. DoJ during the Trump-era “Chinese Initiative” campaign to identify and exterminate suspected Chinese spies in American academia.
The world-renowned expert in nanotechnology, hired by UT in 2013, was accused of hiding his ties to a Chinese university while working on engineering projects for NASA. Prosecutors claimed it constituted fraud.
Before accusing Hu, the FBI alone tried to recruit him and suggested that he report on his visits to scientific events in China, it was revealed during his first trial. An FBI agent also went to the UT leadership to inform them that Hu may be a Chinese military spy, despite the fact that he has no evidence.
The professor had ties to Beijing University of Technology, but never tried to hide the connection from his Tennessee employer. His defense blamed his inability to disclose his ties to some tasks related to NASA projects – which the government claimed proved an attempt to deceive NASA – into labyrinthine rules that even people in the space organization struggle to navigate.
Hu was arrested in February 2020. His first trial ended in a pending jury and trial in June, but the DoJ requested a second attempt and sparked outrage against the Biden administration among some Asian-American communities. Lieu led the indictment in Congress when U.S. lawmakers asked state Attorney Merrick Garland to investigate whether racial profiling supported the decision to try Hu again.
On Thursday, the professor was acquitted of all charges. U.S. District Judge Tom Varlan wrote in his statement that there was no reasonable jury from the DoJ evidence “Could have concluded that [the] the defendant had a scheme to defraud NASA ” or even assume that Hu was aware that his engagement with the University of Beijing would prevent him from working with the agency.
Anming Hu, the former UTK professor accused of being a Chinese spy, has been acquitted of all charges. It was the first case brought to court under the DOJ’s Trump era policy, known as the China Initiative. some background here: https://t.co/phpP2oc3XLpic.twitter.com/8nrpGknIDI
– 𝚁𝚘𝚜𝚊𝚗𝚊 𝙷𝚞𝚐𝚑𝚎𝚜 (@HughesRosana) September 9, 2021
Hu’s wife, who ran a crowdfunding campaign to pay for his legal defense, thanked all contributors. “With your current support, Anming is able to continue to fight for its legal rights and its job,” she said. The professor was suspended by UT after his indictment.
The spectacular college the case against Hu is like other cases of allegedly unfair prosecution of Chinese-American researchers, Liew claimed. He seemed to suggest that the attack on Beijing’s agents in American academia showed the Trump administration’s anti-Asian bias because it failed to launch a similar hunt against Russian-Americans.
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