I began writing this story several days ago centered on the subject of Ossooff being another example of a young Democrat politician targeted and compromised by Chinese government actors who established a “relationship” with Ossoff that could be exploited if he ever successfully pursued a career in politics.
As I worked through the research, I came to the conclusion that there simply wasn’t significant evidence — circumstantial or otherwise — of meaningful efforts by the Chinese Communist Party to target and compromise Ossoff in a manner similar to that which has been uncovered with regard to Eric Swalwell and Hunter Biden. As I’ve written previously, it is a fundamental tenet of Chinese foreign policy as advanced by the Chinse Communist Party that fostering business or personal relationships with foreign actors who are in a position to help advance Chinese and CCP interests in foreign countries is an encouraged tactic. Bribing elected officials or other persons of influence in order to cement such a relationship is not officially discouraged.
Chinese companies create business “partnerships” with influential foreigners, funded with Chinese capital, and then look the other way when their US partners extract that capital out of the business for their own purposes. That is pretty much all that happened with the Chinese energy company CEFC and Hunter Biden. A US “joint venture” company was created, CEFC transferred $5 million to a bank account set up in that company’s name, and that company paid out almost all $5 million to Hunter Biden’s law firm over the next calendar year. The “business” of that company doesn’t appear to have done anything else other than pay Hunter Biden’s law firm.
Next, we had the story of Eric Swalwell, currently an ultra-loyal Democrat lieutenant to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Swalwell was a young City Councilman in Dublin, California, winning his seat in 2010. Dublin, California — population 46,000 in 2010 — is a modest-sized city about 25 miles inland from Oakland and the San Francisco Bay. A well-known tactic of Chinese intelligence agencies is to use intelligence operatives to cultivate “relationships” with young local and state elected officials who might have national aspirations. These relationships then become beneficial in advancing Chinese and CCP interests if/when those officials who do advance in their careers to Congress or positions in Presidential administrations.
While seeking to win his first election to Congress in 2011, the Chinese intelligence operative Christina Fang became “involved” in his campaign by helping him raise funds — and allegedly involved in helping him raise other things as well. Their relationship is alleged to have continued well into 2015 before she suddenly disappeared and returned to China — while under FBI scrutiny — leaving behind a whole network of contacts with prominent Democrat office holders in Northern California.
With press reports that Ossoff had some type of Chinese entanglement in his past, I started researching and writing an article explaining how Jon Ossoff might be a young Democrat about to enter the Senate while having private sector entanglements with CCP officials that could portend personal or financial conflicts when determining US policy towards China in the years ahead.
But I really didn’t find anything as substantial as the issues surrounding Hunter Biden and Eric Swalwell.
In fact, I didn’t find anything substantial at all — about Jon Ossoff.
I’m not referring to substantial “objectionable” or “derogatory” information — I’m referring to ANYTHING substantial
Ossoff is 33 years old, and he may be the lightest of lightweight candidates to have ever come this close to being elected to the world’s most exclusive legislative body.
In 2009 he graduated from Georgetown with a Bachelor’s degree in Foreign Service. While a sophomore in college, starting in 2007, he worked in the DC offices of House Democrat Hank Johnson.
As it happens, Johnson was newly elected to Congress in 2007, so it’s not like Ossoff joined the staff of some powerful member of the House who was Chairman or Ranking Member of a major Committee or Subcommittee. Ossoff was part of a brand new staff of a first-term backbencher in Congress who pretty much was expected to keep his mouth shut, attend to the needs of his constituents, and vote the way the Party’s leadership said to vote.
Ossoff remained on Johnson’s staff until the summer of 2012 and has described himself from that time as having five years experience as a “national security staffer” with a “Top Secret” clearance.
The fact is he first received “TS” clearance in March 2012 while assisting work in Johnson’s office on the National Defense Authorization Act (Defense Department funding bill), and he left Johnson’s office in August 2012. So he had “TS” clearance for a grand total of 5 months.
During one summer while he working for Johnson, Ossoff took a leave of absence, lived in London, and interned for a small documentary film production company, “Insight Television News.” That company had been founded 20 years earlier by an ex-BBC journalist.
Ossoff quit Johnson’s office in the fall of 2012 to attend the London School of Economics. While living there, he renewed his friendship with the owner of Insight, and later entered into discussions with the documentary company about joining the business.
In 2013, less than a year after leaving Washington, the 26-year-old Ossoff, with no experience in journalism or documentary film making, was named CEO and Managing Director of the company he renamed as “Insight TWI”, which meant “Insight — The World Investigates”. The veteran BBC journalist remained listed as “Editor in Chief” — meaning he retained control of the content of the documentary work. What Ossoff did wasn’t entirely clear, unless you factor in what comes next.
Have I mentioned yet that Ossoff comes from a wealthy Atlanta family that owns and controls Strafford Publishing, the leading publisher of continuing education materials for attorneys and accountants nationwide?
Reading between the lines, I suspected that Ossoff used his wealth and ability to fund the investigative journalism as a way to “buy” for himself the CEO and Managing Director positions from a documentary film company that had long struggled to be commercially successful notwithstanding having produced some significant films.
Sure enough, when Ossoff ran for a House seat in 2017, financial disclosure forms showed that he was 50% owner of Insight TWI, having invested between $250,001 and $500,000 for his interest.
In 2019, when he entered the race for the Senate seat held by GOP Senator David Perdue, his financial disclosure forms showed he was now 75% owner of Insight TWI.
Five years as a “national security staffer” for a House backbencher — with five months of “top secret” clearance — and three years as a small documentary film company “CEO,” a position he bought for himself.
Now Ossoff is in a runoff for a six-year term in the United States Senate.
Conservative media and the Perdue campaign has tried to make something out of a “Chinese” connection to Ossoff’s film company. But the attack seems pretty thin to me. He has disclosed that the Chinese media company PCCW, owned in part by China Unicom, the state-run communications provider, “contributed” money to Insight TWI. But, the only facts public at this time is that Insight ITW received royalty payments for the broadcast by PCCW of two Insight ITW documentaries on ISIS war crimes, totaling approximately $1,000. A third-party distributor in the UK — SkyVision — actually sold the broadcast rights to PCCW, and then forwarded to Insight ITW its share of those funds under the third party distribution agreement. No evidence to the contrary has surfaced.
This doesn’t prove that China would not be interested in trying to compromise Ossoff if given the opportunity to do so.
But it does strongly suggest that not even China thought Ossoff was enough of a serious candidate for political office in the United States that he was worth the trouble after he bought himself the CEO title of Insight ITW.
Too bad the people of Georgia don’t seem to “aim higher” in terms of the quality of candidates they seem willing to settle for.