DNI Investigation Reveals How CCP Interfered In US Election


Authored by Andrew Thornebrooke via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

The Chinese regime interfered in the U.S. 2022 midterm elections through various means, according to a declassified intelligence report and multiple private-sector investigations.

(Illustration by The Epoch Times, Shutterstock)

The effort included a broad array of techniques orchestrated by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), including retaliation against U.S. lawmakers, the promotion of divisive content, and the impersonation of American voters online.

Noted China hawk Rep. Tom Tiffany (R-Wis.) said the regime will continue its efforts to interfere in U.S. elections until the Biden administration deals more seriously with Beijing.

Communist China has shown time and time again that they will stop at nothing to interfere in America’s elections,” Mr. Tiffany told The Epoch Times.

“The Biden administration needs to take a harder line on PRC meddling and espionage.”

PRC is the acronym for communist China’s official name, the People’s Republic of China.

A declassified assessment published by the director of national intelligence (DNI) in December 2023 found that the regime tried to “influence” U.S. congressional elections involving both Democrats and Republicans who espoused tough-on-China policy stances.

The report also found that the scale and scope of foreign activity targeting the elections surpassed that of the prior midterms but remained below the level expected in presidential years.

The report assessed that the CCP had a “greater willingness to conduct election influence activities than in past cycles,” partly because it didn’t fear retaliation from the Biden administration.

The report states that CCP officials gave operatives more freedom to interfere in U.S. elections because the regime “believed that Beijing was under less scrutiny … and because they did not expect the current administration to retaliate as severely as they feared in 2020.”

CCP Eyes Members of Congress

The CCP targeted congressional races out of a belief that the legislative branch was more likely to take action against its “core interests,” the DNI report states.

As such, the regime hoped to ensure that pro-China candidates won their races, regardless of party affiliation, according to Sam Kessler, a geopolitical adviser at the North Star Support Group risk advisory firm.

The Chinese regime support congressional candidates who are thought to be “pro-China” and undermine considered to be “against-China.” (Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

“The CCP’s influence of the 2022 midterms illustrated the continuation of their larger geopolitical strategy to ensure pro-China politicians and thinkers are elected in Congress,” Mr. Kessler told The Epoch Times.

It is also used for painting a negative image of the U.S. democratic political system and election process in comparison to Beijing’s authoritarian-based system.

The regime took action “to punish [candidates] for their anti-China views and to reward [candidates] for their perceived support of Beijing,” the report states.

The regime also sought to sow discord among Americans but focused primarily on undermining “a small number of specific candidates based on their policy positions.”

The efforts since 2020 have been directed by senior Chinese leadership, the report found, and based on broad directives to undermine public opinion or congressional policies that could be detrimental to the CCP’s strategic goals.

Mr. Kessler described the effort as “part of a big picture CCP strategy to combat U.S. efforts that promote democracy abroad.”

To act so brazenly, he said, the regime likely “perceived themselves being under less scrutiny” since the 2020 election.

People cast their early ballots for the 2022 general election at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor on Nov. 7, 2022. (Eff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images)

Chinese Law Enforcement

In addition to influencing elections, the regime also sought to covertly use social media accounts, proxy websites, paid influencers, and public relations firms to manipulate U.S. public opinion about China, according to the report.

Those findings align with reports published last year by tech giants Meta and Microsoft.

Meta announced in August 2023 that it had purged thousands of China-linked accounts from its platforms, which it stated were part of the world’s largest online influence operation.

That operation was connected to known individuals in Chinese law enforcement who sought to influence the 2022 midterm elections, according to Meta.

Casey Fleming, CEO of the risk advisory firm BlackOps Partners, said the initiative was part of the CCP’s wider strategy of unrestricted hybrid warfare.

“Ongoing CCP influence operations are one of many methods of unrestricted warfare where our enemy (the CCP) follows no rules intended in constant weakening [of] their primary adversary (the U.S.),” Mr. Fleming told The Epoch Times in an email.

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