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Juror in China spy case calls charges “ridiculous”

A woman who sat on a jury that failed to reach a verdict in the spy trial against former University of Tennessee scientist Anming Hu called the charges against him “ridiculous.”

In an interview with The Intercept, Wendy Chandler spoke about the reason she refused to convict Hu in a trial which ultimately ended in a mistrial when the jurors said they were deadlocked.

“I walked in assuming the government had some reason to be there, assuming that they were coming at it with honesty and integrity,” she saud “I assumed the best for them.”

In the end, she couldn’t believe the case even went to trial.

“It was the most ridiculous case,” she said. “If this is who is protecting America, we’ve got problems.”

Three Congressional members of the House Judiciary Committee now are calling for an investigation into the FBI’s treatment of Hu.

Ted Lieu (D-CA) Mondaire Jones (D-NY) and Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) want the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General to “review whether the China Initiative puts untoward pressure on DOJ personnel to engage in racial or ethnic profiling,” reported the Knoxville News.

The case went to trial as part of then President Trump’s China Initiative to smoke out Chinese spies. Hu’s case was the first brought up under that program.

Hu is now awaiting word on whether prosecutors will attempt to retry him.

“For years, the government has targeted scientists and academics of Asian descent for investigation and prosecution, most recently as part of the China Initiative,” the three house members wrote. “Professor Hu was apparently prosecuted under the China Initiative, which can result in the unfair and unjustified suspicion of those who are of Chinese descent. The alleged FBI misconduct and mistrial echoes similar cases such as Wen Ho Lee, Sherry Chen, and Professor Xi, all of whom were falsely accused of spying for China.”

In Chandler’s opinio, Hu was charged only to justify the government’s two year probe into his activities.

 “They spent all this time and money on this big giant nothing burger, and they were not going to leave without a pound of flesh,” she said.

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