In the Politico Magazine article “How Silicon Valley became a den of spies,” Zach Dorfman reported in passing: ” Former intelligence officials told me that Chinese intelligence once recruited a staff member at a California office of U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, and the source reported back to China about local politics.” He added parenthetically: “A spokesperson for Feinstein said the office doesn’t comment on personnel matters or investigations, but noted that no Feinstein staffer in California has ever had a security clearance.”
San Francisco Chronicle columnists Phillip Matier & Andrew Ross followed up on this intriguing bit in “Feinstein had a Chinese spy connection she didn’t know about — her driver.” Matier & Ross report: “A local source who knew about the incident confirmed to us that the FBI showed up at Feinstein’s office in Washington, D.C., about five years ago to alert the then-chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee that her driver was being investigated for possible Chinese spying.”
Note that Feinstein was chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee at the time. It is unclear from the column when the Feinstein staffer was recruited. Another report indicates that he worked for Feinstein for 20 years. According to the Chronicle column, although Feinstein let the man retire and kept the lid on the story until now, no harm was done. The Chinese, incidentally, take these matters more seriously. Somehow I doubt that we have heard the full story yet.
President Trump commented on the story on Saturday night at the Ohio rally he held to support GOP congressional candidate Troy Balderson. President Trump was quoted in relevant part by the Washington Times: “The leader of the Russia investigation, Dianne Feinstein, had a Chinese spy as her driver for 20 years. And she’s leading the Russian ‘witch hunt.’ Isn’t that something? And then she says to me, ‘What did you know about this and that?’ Give me a break.”