The Justice Department says that in the “interest of justice,” it is dropping all charges under the China Initiative against MIT professor Gang Chen.
The Boston Herald reports feds are now acknowledging they cannot meet the burden of proof to prosecute Chen.
“As prosecutors, we have an obligation in every matter we pursue to continually examine the facts while being open to receiving and uncovering new information,” U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Rachael Rollins said in a statement. “Today’s dismissal is a result of that process and is in the interests of justice.”
According to the Technology Review, the decision comes nearly one year to the day after the feds indicted Chen for allegedly failing to disclose relationships and funding from China.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice applauded the decision and commended the Justice Department for conducting a careful review of the facts.
“Although communities across the country express a deep sigh of relief, we cannot forget the life-long consequences this injustice has had on Dr. Chen and his family,” said John Yang, president and executive director of AAJC in a statement to AsAmNews. “While defending himself from the government’s charges, Dr. Chen’s career and life grinded to a halt. He and his family have been put through incredible stress.”
Many including Dr. Chen believe this and other cases are indicative of the flawed China Initiative program which President Trump launched during his administration and President Biden has continued.
“While I am relieved that my ordeal is over, I am mindful that this terribly misguided China Initiative continues to bring unwarranted fear to the academic community, and other scientists still face charges,” he said to the Technology Review.
Many of Chen’s fellow faculty members at MIT joined in the fight to get the feds to drop this case.
“Having had faith in Gang from the beginning, we can all be grateful for a just outcome to a damaging process,” MIT President Reif wrote in a statement. “We are eager for his full return to our community.”
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