President Biden’s pick as chief legal counsel for the U.S. intelligence community refused to renounce the possibility of future work with the Chinese government or the tech giant Huawei.
In a closed-door Senate Intelligence Committee hearing Wednesday, Christopher Fonzone, who was nominated by Biden in March to be General Counsel of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ONDI), disclosed his work with Huawei and China’s Ministry of Commerce following his role with the National Security Council under the Obama administration.
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Fonzone said his work with Huawei was “limited” and “focused on helping clients understand and comply with U.S. law.”
“I did less than 10 hours of work at the firm’s request answering questions about how U.S. administrative law works,” he told lawmakers Wednesday.
But Fonzone frustrated GOP lawmakers by skirting questions regarding whether we would commit to never again working with the Chinese government or the China-based tech company — whose ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) are believed to be a security risk to U.S. intelligence.
“I do not have plans for what I would do after service in government if confirmed,” Fonzone said in response to a question posed by Nebraska GOP Sen. Ben Sasse. “But [I] commit to following all post-government ethics rules and restrictions,” he added.