Lawmaker Urges DOJ to Explain the Release of Huawei CFO

By Alex Wu
Alex Wu
Alex Wu
Alex Wu is a U.S.-based writer for The Epoch Times focusing on Chinese society, Chinese culture, human rights, and international relations.
September 29, 2021 Updated: September 29, 2021

House Armed Services Committee member Jim Banks (R-Ind.) has asked Attorney General Merrick Garland to explain the release of Huawei’s CFO Meng Wanzhou, in an open letter (pdf) released on Sept. 28.

On Sept. 24, the Department of Justice (DOJ) allowed Meng to return to China after she was detained in Canada on behalf of the U.S. government nearly three years ago. Meng was waiting to be extradited to the United States for her role in Huawei’s violations of U.S. sanctions against Iran through a shell company.

The DOJ said that it had reached a deferred prosecution agreement with Meng, in which she agreed to most of the charges against her while maintaining formal deniability regarding key charges relating to bank and wire fraud.

Shortly after Meng’s release, the Chinese regime released two Canadians who had been detained in China soon after Meng’s arrest in Canada. It’s believed that Meng’s release is a sign of victory for the Chinese regime’s “hostage diplomacy” tactic.

Amid the controversy, Banks issued an official letter to Garland asking him to explain the DOJ’s deal to free Meng.

“There is incontrovertible evidence that Huawei violated our laws and Meng Wanzhou attempted to cover it up,” the letter reads.

Meng has acknowledged her role in “helping conceal Huawei’s direct dealing with Iran and violating U.S. sanctions,” according to the letter.

Banks noted that in exchange, the DOJ deferred prosecution, let Meng return home to China, and the case against her could be dropped soon. Meng was welcomed back to China as a “hero.” He said Meng didn’t even receive “a slap on the wrist” for such a serious crime.

Banks wrote that he’s “deeply troubled” by the message sent to the world by the DOJ’s release of Meng.

“The United States is broadcasting to any would-be criminals that we are not very serious about enforcing our sanctions laws,” he wrote. “This is a dream come true for Iran, Hamas, Russia, North Korea, and every other entity who have been slapped with our sanctions.”

Banks also pointed out that two hours after Meng’s release, the Chinese regime freed two Canadian citizens who had been arbitrarily detained in China since December 2018. “The agreement with Meng and China’s release of these two prisoners clearly suggests a prisoner swap,” he said.

He expressed grave concern regarding communist China’s hostage diplomacy and the safety of Americans in China.

“Congress needs to know the details of the agreement made with the Chinese government and how it may lead to future hostage-taking by the Chinese Communist Party,” he wrote.

Banks demanded that Garland share “all documents and communications between the DOJ and the White House and the State Department about this case from January 20, 2021 to September 27, 2021 within the next 15 days.”

The DOJ hadn’t responded to Banks’s letter by press time.

Alex Wu
Alex Wu is a U.S.-based writer for The Epoch Times focusing on Chinese society, Chinese culture, human rights, and international relations.