North Carolina congressional candidate Dan McCready’s lawyers demanded that Republicans stop attacking his company for using products from Huawei, a Chinese manufacturing firm.
Lawyers from Robinson-Bradshaw, a firm that employs McCready’s father, took issue with political attacks by both the National Republican Congressional Committee and the Congressional Leadership Fund, a Republican-aligned Super PAC, claiming that McCready "outsourced jobs to China" and endangered the state’s power grid by investing in a company that relied on Huawei-manufactured string inverters.
The cease and desist letter from McCready’s lawyers focuses on a Fox News story from late May which detailed how McCready’s investment fund helped finance a North Carolina solar company, Strata Solar, which reportedly outsourced production of string inverters to Huawei.
McCready’s lawyers said McCready’s solar-energy investment fund, Double Time Capital, "has not invested in and owns no part of Strata Solar," in their original letter to CLF.
Local coverage of McCready’s initial efforts to build up his fund appears to contradict the lawyers’ claim.
"Double Time has invested money in solar developed only by N.C.-based companies. Much of that has been invested in projects by Strata Solar," the Charlotte Business Journal reported in 2017.
The letter additionally asserts that "not one of the solar farms receiving investments from Double Time Capital utilizes Huawei inverters."
In fact, Strata, which Double Time Capital invested in, announced in 2016 an exclusive partnership with Huawei to incorporate its string inverters into several of Strata’s solar farms.
A bipartisan group of Senators issued a letter earlier this year describing these products as a potential national security threat and asked the Trump administration to consider banning the inverters.
Lawyers for CLF responded by rejecting the cease and desist call and defending the facts behind the political attack.
"It is a matter of clear public record that Double Time has heavily invested in Strata projects, and Strata clearly busy from China," CLF lawyers asserted in their response.
Lawyers from CLF also took issue with McCready’s lawyers claims that the candidate’s investment fund "does not build or operate solar farms."
Pointing to McCready’s claim that his company helps "build solar farms all across North Carolina," at a recent campaign event, CLF lawyers highlighted how McCready’s own words contradict his lawyers’ arguments.
"There is no question that the statements by CLF are based on a reasonable interpretation of events and sources available," the letter from CLF concludes. "There can be no doubt, therefore, that CLF’s statements are fully protected by the First Amendment."
The National Republican Congressional Committee, which received a nearly identical cease and desist letter from McCready’s lawyers, also rejected the cease and desist order.
"The NRCC and its employees are not distracted by your tricks or intimidated by your letter," its lawyer wrote. "We reject your demands and will continue informing the voters of North Carolina’s Ninth Congressional District about Double Time and its founder China Dan McCready’s support for Chinese enterprise."
McCready, a former Marine Corps officer and entrepreneur, narrowly lost the 2018 general election for North Carolina’s 9th Congressional but the contest was voided due to election irregularities.
A special election will be held on September 10. McCready will face off against North Carolina state senator Dan Bishop.