National Review reported on Friday that Barbara Hamlett, a scheduler for Beyer, was no longer in the congressman’s office after investigations by the House sergeant-at-arms and Beyer’s office. The investigations found that Hamlett had been setting up meetings between congressional offices and the Chinese embassy.
“Congressman Beyer was totally unaware of these activities prior to being contacted by the House Sergeant At Arms,” Aaron Fritschner, Beyer’s deputy chief of staff, told National Review on Friday. “As soon as he learned of them, he followed every directive he was given by security officials. The staffer in question is no longer employed by the office of Congressman Beyer.”
According to Fritschner, Beyer was “deeply upset” about the revelations and that the congressman remained resolute in his goal to protect the U.S. from threats from China. Beyer “has been an outspoken critic of China’s record on human rights — including their crackdown in Hong Kong and their oppression of the Muslim Uyghur population in Xinjiang — as well as an advocate for Tibet, and a vocal supporter of Taiwan,” Fritschner said.
Beyer, whose office said he had not an “inkling” that his staffer was allegedly working with the Chinese embassy, was told on Tuesday by the House sergeant at arms that Hamlett had set up meetings between people at the embassy and other congressional offices.
National Review was provided with one of the emails which had been sent to a congressional office.
“I have worked on The Hill for nearly 34 yrs. and worked 5 of those years as Deputy Scheduler to the late Senator Arlen Specter,” one email from Hamlett said. “I would like to introduce you to some friends of mine that work at the Chinese Embassy who would like to meet you and have a chat.”
The investigation by Beyer’s office confirmed the meetings, which Hamlett had tried to set up with at least two Republican offices.
One congressional staffer who spoke with National Review said that he attended one of the meetings and was pressed about a “bill” backed by his boss that the person from the embassy disapproved of while Hamlett sat at another table.
Hamlett has spent nearly 40 years working in various congressional staff positions.