On Tuesday, January 28, 2020, the New York Times reported that F.B,I. agents arrested Charles M. Lieber, the chair of Harvard’s department of chemistry and chemical biology, for making a false statement to federal authorities about his financial connections to the Chinese government and his involvement in the Thousand Talents program, a campaign used to draw foreign-educated scientists to China.
This arrest marked a new phase where the Justice Department is ramping up its campaign to smoke out scientists who steal research from American laboratories.
In the past few months, news about scientists being prosecuted, above all, Chinese graduate students and researchers working in American laboratories, has been on the uptick.
The Lieber arrest does mark a significant turn of events, since he is a renowned researcher that has moved into the highest echelons of his academic field. Lieber is a leader in the area of nanoscale electronics.
Dr. Lieber’s lawyer, Peter Levitt, offered no remarks after a preliminary hearing in federal court in Boston on Tuesday.
His arrest surprised many individuals in research circles.
“This is a very, very highly esteemed, highly regarded investigator working at Harvard, a major U.S. institution, at the highest rank he could have, so, all the success you can have in this sphere,” declared Dr. Ross McKinney Jr., chief scientific officer of the Association of American Medical Colleges. “It’s like, when you’ve got it all, why do you want more?”
“We worry that, slowly but surely, we’re going to have something of a McCarthyish purity testing,” he continued. “He’s being criminally charged. This is a big deal. He could end up in jail.”
Lieber was charged with one count of making a false or misleading statement, which generally involves a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
Harvard stated that Dr. Lieber was placed on indefinite administrative leave.
“The charges brought by the U.S. government against Professor Lieber are extremely serious,” said Jonathan Swain, a spokesman for Harvard. “Harvard is cooperating with federal authorities, including the National Institutes of Health, and is initiating its own review of the alleged misconduct.”
Dr. Lieber was one of three scientists to be charged with crimes that very day.
Zaosong Zheng, a cancer researcher affiliated with Harvard was caught leaving the country with 21 vials of cells stolen from a laboratory at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Boston, according to a report from the authorities. Authorities claimed that he confessed to planning to jumpstart his career by publishing the research in China under his name. The Chinese national was charged with smuggling goods from the United States and with making false statements.
The third individual charged was Yanqing Ye, who had been carrying out research at Boston University’s department of physics, chemistry and biomedical engineering until last spring. At that time, she ended up returning to China. Prosecutors said she concealed the fact that she was an officer in the People’s Liberation Army. Regardless, she continued to complete military assignments under the order of PLA officers while doing work at B.U.
Yanqing was hit with charges of visa fraud, making false statements, acting as an agent of a foreign government, and conspiracy. She is currently in China and was not arrested.
Prosecutors highlighted that the charges announced on Tuesday were part of a comprehensive crackdown on researchers affiliated with the Chinese government.
“No country poses a greater, more severe or long-term threat to our national security and economic prosperity than China,” declared Joseph Bonavolonta, the special agent heading the F.B.I.’s Boston field office. “China’s communist government’s goal, simply put, is to replace the U.S. as the world superpower, and they are breaking the law to get there.”
The charging documents in this case detail Dr. Lieber’s extensive ties to China, and his attempts to keep them away from his American employers.
According to the court document, Lieber signed an agreement in 2011 to become a “strategic scientist” at Wuhan University of Technology in China, which came with a $50,000 monthly salary, $150,000 in annual in living expenses, and more than $1.5 million allocated for a second laboratory in Wuhan.
In 2015, Harvard officials found that Dr. Lieber was in charge of a laboratory at Wuhan University, and informed him that using Harvard’s name and logo was a violation of university policy. As a result of this statement from the university, Dr. Lieber distanced himself from the project, but continued to receive compensation, prosecutors claimed
Federal Government Threatens to Defund Connecticut School Districts for Allowing Males to Compete in Female Sports
In a “letter of impending enforcement action” released on May 28, 2020, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights declared that The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference violated Title IX by “permitting the participation of certain male student-athletes” in girls’ track events at several school districts.
The federal investigation was kicked off last summer and were the result of the Alliance Defending Freedom filing a complaint on behalf three female students. The Justice Department took sides with female students during the past month.
The biological females sustained that the “Transgender Participation” policy, which was first enacted seven years ago, were stripped of their rights under Title IX by allowing “boys who are male in every biological and physiological respect” compete in their sports, provided that they “claim a female gender identity.”
The CIAC policy started to yield troubling results when two biological males who identified as girls began dominating girls’ track meets. This policy is less stringent than the NCAA’s transgender policy, which mandates males to take testosterone-suppressing hormones for at least a year before participating in female sports competitions.
Three school districts violated Title IX by also participating in CIAC athletic events. “Glastonbury, Canton, and Danbury placed female student-athletes in athletic events against male student-athletes, resulting in competitive disadvantages for female student-athletes,” federal officials stated.
The athletic events in which the female student-athletes competed were coeducational; female student-athletes were denied the opportunity to compete in events that were exclusively female, whereas male student-athletes were able to compete in events that were exclusively male.
On top of that, three other districts – Hartford, Bloomfield and Cromwell – violated Title IX by allowing two biological males, Terry Miller and Andraya Yearwood, compete on female teams per CIAC policy. According to the OCR, the conference and six districts “treated student-athletes differently based on sex.”
According to Greg Piper of the College Fix, “The letter uses pseudonyms for the students but all have been previously named. The girls filed a related lawsuit in February under their real names: Alanna Smith, Chelsea Mitchell and Selina Soule.”
The conference and six districts rejected “resolution agreements” with OCR, prompting the office to issue them “letters of impasse” on March 17. These are basically warning letters. The office initially gave them 10 days to comply. They then extended the deadline by an additional 30 days as a result of “their COVID-19-related duties and responsibilities.”
At the moment, OCR will either “initiate administrative proceedings” to block federal funding for the conference and districts or hand the cases over to the Justice Department in order for it to enforce federal law.
It’s good to see athletes finally get justice.
Thanks to the Left grabbing control of so many American institutions, Americans are subjected to a wide array of politically correct experiments.
This is a solid victory which should be built upon by the Trump administration and members of Congress.
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