I can't believe it when prosecutors say sh*t like this:
It might end up tanking the criminal case. But building a criminal case is not what intelligence division agents are focused on when they are trying to figure out if Scientist X is a spy or not a spy. The only goal for the intelligence agent is to get an answer to that question.
The FBI has an "Intelligence Division" and a "Criminal Division" -- they do separate kinds of work. The "Intelligence Division" is not gathering evidence for purposes of a court proceeding. They have more "leeway" for their conduct. Their goal is to simply get information.
He was a prosecutor and doesn't understand that espionage is a criminal offense?
The Department of Justice (DOJ) charged Hu with engaging in espionage‐related crimes because some of his research was funded by a grant from NASA that was similar to research projects that he was working on in China. Reading stories about Hu, the most charitable explanation for the DOJ charging him with a crime is that it’s a simple case of bureaucratic misunderstanding where University of Tennessee administrators and Hu didn’t understand disclosure requirements that prohibited him from working on projects in the United States and China while receiving government research funding.
Both the United States and Canada have warned that China intends to use scientists who are involved with this plan to gain access to new technology for economic and military advantage.
Sadiku found a news release and flier written in Chinese that included Hu’s photograph. He used a feature of the Google app for a “rough translation,” of the document, the agent told jurors.The document revealed Hu was awarded a short-term contract in 2012 under China’s Thousand Talents Program to teach students at the Beijing University of Technology and had an upcoming speaking event in China.Sadiku formally launched an economic espionage probe at that point.
Hu left China more than a decade ago to pursue a second doctorate in Canada. Testimony showed he moved his wife, children and relatives to Canada and became a naturalized citizen. His research and inventions in a welding technique known as “brazing” were gaining fame in academic, business and government circles.The University of Tennessee (UT) recruited him to teach and continue his nanotechnology research in 2013, and he took the post.Hu told jurors Friday he had a one-hour training session on the stacks of disclosure forms UT faculty and staff are required to file each year. That training included a Power Point about the so-called “NASA restriction” — an amendment to a military funding bill passed in 2011.A half dozen UT administrations have testified the Power Point was the only guidance its employees are given about how to comply with the NASA restriction.It said UT will provide NASA with a “China Assurance letter” for any proposal for a grant submitted by faculty.“The language indicates that we do not view our faculty, staff and students to be entities of China,” it read.Hu disclosed his ties to Beijing University of Technology in at least two required forms at UT, testimony shows, and he disclosed them again in email exchanges with both UT officials and a NASA contractor. No one, testimony revealed, told Hu that he was barred from NASA work.He went on to complete two NASA projects before federal agents came calling with handcuffs in February 2020.
Hu is specifically accused in the case on trial of plotting to “intentionally” defraud NASA by failing to list his Beijing University teaching work on a single annual form at UT. The form doesn’t ask professors to disclose ties with China or any other country, UT officials testified.Instead, the form asks assistant professors such as Hu to list any work outside UT that earns them more than $10,000. Hu earned less than $2,000 annually from his work with Beijing University.Federal prosecutor Matthew McKenzie on Thursday argued there is plenty of proof Hu left off the Beijing work from that single form to avoid the NASA restriction.“The argument we’ll make is … he was involved with this Chinese university for years, and it was obvious he would have to disclose that,” McKenzie said.
Sadiku testified he never mentioned fraud or the form — a conflict of interest disclosure — when he confronted Hu in April 2018. The agent said he instead asked Hu if he was a member of the Thousand Talents Program.
“I interviewed him,” Sadiku said. “He told me he wasn’t (a member), so I believe that he wasn’t.”
The agent ultimately admitted he presented UT officials with a Power Point that labeled Hu as an operative for the Chinese military and never followed up to say it wasn’t true.“Based on my summary translations, my reports and my outline, no, Hu wasn’t involved in the Chinese military,” Sadiku testified.Lomonaco said, “This is a false statement you put on the (presentation to UT officials), isn’t it?”“Can you repeat the question?” Sadiku replied before answering, “If you’re talking about the power points, I prepared those, yes."
"Anming, regarding the China Assurance, NASA requires you to include a signed document stating you assure you will comply with the Chinese Funding Restrictions. However, UTK always includes a special copy stating that, as we understand it, this restriction does not apply to faculty, staff, and students."