Rubio Asks DOJ To Investigate Chinese Funding of Left-Wing Activists

'Combatting Beijing’s malign influence must be a key objective for the DOJ,' Rubio says

Sen. Marco Rubio
Sen. Marco Rubio / Getty Images
August 9, 2023

Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) is calling on the Department of Justice to investigate U.S. left-wing activist groups linked to an international Chinese Communist Party funding network and slammed the Biden administration for being "unaware or ambivalent to this growing threat."

Rubio, one of the top China hawks in Congress, said he is concerned that "far-left organizations that are reportedly tied to the Chinese Communist Party" are "operating with impunity in the United States," in a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland obtained by the Washington Free Beacon on Wednesday. He called on Garland to investigate whether the groups violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act by failing to register as agents of China.

The senator’s letter follows a bombshell New York Times report that uncovered a dark-money network run by an American tech mogul, Neville Roy Singham, that promotes pro-Chinese government propaganda through an array of U.S. left-wing nonprofit groups.

Some of the organizations receiving funding from the network include Code Pink, No Cold War, the United Community Fund, and the Justice and Education Fund, according to the Times. The groups have pushed progressive policies alongside pro-China talking points, such as downplaying the government’s genocide against Uyghurs.

The Foreign Agents Registration Act requires groups and individuals that engage in political activities or lobbying on behalf of foreign interests to register as foreign agents. The DOJ has ramped up its enforcement of the law in recent years, bringing high-profile FARA cases against former professor Gal Luft, who allegedly failed to register his work for a Chinese think tank that also paid Hunter Biden, and against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who pleaded guilty after failing to disclose his work for a pro-Russia political party in Ukraine.

"Combatting Beijing’s malign influence must be a key objective for the U.S. Department of Justice," wrote Rubio. "Unfortunately, it appears the DOJ is either unaware or ambivalent to this growing threat."

The senator asked the attorney general to "immediately investigate" Code Pink and seven other groups for "potential violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act."

"The CCP is our greatest adversary, and we cannot allow it to abuse our open system to promote its malign influence any longer," wrote Rubio.