Dianne Feinstein and her husband, Richard Blum, have had many business dealings with China. During the time that Feinstein led the Senate Intelligence Committee, she had a Chinese spy working on her staff. In fact, the spy worked for her for 20 years. Feinstein and her husband have invested tens of millions of dollars in Chinese businesses, making a hefty profit.
One of the investments Blum made was in a Chinese computer company that sold its products to the US military. Those computers came equipped with a spyware chip that allowed them to keep track of what the computers were being used for. The company was founded by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), an institution tied to both the Chinese government and the PLA. You know the company by the name they use on their products here, Lenovo.
Lenovo became big after they bought IBM’s line of personal computer products in 2005. The $350 million dollars came from three private equity funds. One of those funds was Richard Blum’s Newbridge Capital. At the time, many in the Senate were worried that the Chinese could use their computers to steal state secrets. Feinstein was not one of them. I wonder why.
The frightening thing is that even though it is a common concern that the computers have spyware installed is that the Pentagon continued buying those computers as recently as 2018. they purchased 1,378 of them even though the US, U.K., Canada, New Zealand, and Australia had all discovered the security risk they posed.
Somehow Lenovo still managed to sell a large number of laptop computers to the U.S. military, which discovered that many of those machines included motherboard chips that “would record all the data that was being inputted into that laptop and send it back to China,” as a computer operations manager for the U.S. Marines in Iraq put it.
A year after that testimony was delivered, Blum sold his stake in Lenovo.
The Pentagon released an audit in 2019 that found the Department of Defense (DoD) still has not formally banned computers from Lenovo, now the largest personal computer company in China, even though the Department of Homeland Security and the Joint Chiefs of Staff Intelligence Directorate have both identified the machines as cyberespionage risks. The U.S. Air Force purchased 1,378 Lenovo products worth $1.9 million as recently as 2018.
Red-Handed was published by Harper-Collins. Schweizer is the president of the nonpartisan Government Accountability Institute (GAI) and a senior contributor to Breitbart News.