Several White House staffers have resigned after violent protests broke out in Washington D.C. Wednesday.
First lady Melania Trump’s Chief of Staff Stephanie Grisham was the first to submit her resignation Wednesday, effective immediately.
Grisham joined the presidential campaign in 2015 as a press liaison and most recently served as White House communications director and Melania Trump’s spokeswoman.
Grisham quit her position after a violent mob stormed the U.S. Capitol building Wednesday. Her job was set to end in two weeks, when President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in.
“It has been an honor to serve the country in the White House. I am very proud to have been a part of Mrs. Trump’s mission to help children everywhere, and proud of the many accomplishments of this Administration,” Grisham said in a statement Wednesday.
Following Grisham’s resignation, White House social secretary Rickie Niceta and deputy White House press secretary Sarah Matthews, also resigned.
“As someone who worked in the halls of Congress, I was deeply disturbed by what I saw today. I’ll be stepping down from my role effective immediately. Our nation needs a peaceful transfer of power,” Matthews said in a statement Wednesday.
Thursday morning, former Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney resigned from his Trump Administration post as envoy to Northern Ireland.
“I called Mike Pompeo last night to let him know I was resigning from that. I can’t do it. I can’t stay … We didn’t sign up for what you saw last night,” Mulvaney told CNBC Thursday.
Mulvaney was critical of how President Trump handled the demonstration, saying his tweet was “not enough.”
Additionally, deputy national security adviser Matt Pottinger, European and Russian Affairs Senior Director Ryan Tully and Assistant Secretary for Intelligence and Security John Costello also resigned, according to Fox News.
Mulvaney warned that other staffers may submit their resignations in the coming days.
National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, Deputy Chief of Staff Chris Liddell and Transportation Secretary Eliane Chao are also considering resigning, the New York Post has reported.
Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy
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REPORT: China has vast network of covert police stations around the world
China has a vast network of covert police stations abroad, according to a recent report by Safeguard Defenders, an NGO that focuses on human rights violations in China and other Asian countries. These police stations serve consular functions, but are also used by China to crack down on what the CCP deems “illegal” activity of Chinese nationals abroad. The police stations include at least 38 run by the Fuzhou City police, and 22 run by the Qingtian City police. Cities housing these police stations include New York, Toronto (which has three stations), London (two), Paris (three), Buenos Aires, Rio De Janeiro, and Tokyo.
Key findings of the report are below.
“Persuaded to return”
According to China, China has “persuaded to return [to China]” 230,000 Chinese nationals living aboard from April 2021 to July 2022 alone to face charges of fraud and telecommunications fraud. A Yangxia police station set up in Mozambique, for example, persuaded a Chinese national to return to China after being accused of stealing money from his employer. Chinese authorities also put pressure on the accused family to convince the accused to surrender.
Roughly 54,000 Chinese nationals were persuaded to return from northern Myanmar alone, in the first nine months of 2021. In July 2022, the government of Wenchang City warned that its citizens living in northern Myanmar must check in with their local police stations or face multiple penalties including blocking their children from attending urban schools back in China. Similarly, in February 2022, the government of Liayang City stated that Chinese “illegally staying” in northern Myanmar must return or the bank accounts of their immediate family members could be frozen.
The Nine Forbidden Countries
China has claimed that nine countries contain serious levels of fraud and telecom fraud perpetrated by Chinese nationals. Since November 2021, China has declared that Chinese citizens living in these nine countries must return to China immediately unless they have an “emergency reason” or a “strict necessity” to travel or stay in those countries. Those countries are: Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, the UAE, and Turkey. However, the report questions whether these countries are truly awash in such fraud, as most of China’s oversees police stations are in the West, and only one of the nine countries (Cambodia) has such a police station. Chinese staying in the nine forbidden countries, as well as threats to family members as stated above, creates a “guilt-by-association” atmosphere intended to repatriate the Chinese nationals.
According to the report, Chinese police stations abroad serve to bypass “bilateral extradition treaties or other mechanisms of judicial cooperation” to cooperate with CCP-linked NGOs which effectively “[sets] up an alternative policing and judicial system within third countries.” Instead of using international judicial cooperation, which establishes due process, the presumption of innocence, and the right to a fair trial, China uses the above “persuade-to-return” methods and transnational police stations to circumvent international law and coerce Chinese nationals to return to China for trials. These policies show the power of China’s long-arm oppression over its own subjects.
You can follow Steve Postal on Twitter @HebraicMosaic
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