- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 29, 2003

The arrests in Los Angeles of a former FBI agent and his girlfriend, suspected of being a Chinese spy, led three senior members of the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday to call for public hearings to assess the damage to the nation's counterintelligence network.
Sen. Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, the panel's ranking Democrat, and Republican Sens. Charles E. Grassley of Iowa and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania said in a letter to Chairman Orrin G. Hatch, Utah Republican, that concerns raised by the arrests touched on "the national security of the United States."
The senators requested hearings "as soon as possible."
Former FBI Agent James J. Smith, who worked in Chinese counterintelligence, was arrested April 9 in the theft of classified documents that authorities believe may have been sent to the People's Republic of China. He was taken into custody along with Katrina Leung, described by authorities as an FBI "asset" on China.
Mr. Smith, 59, who retired in November 2000, was accused of allowing access to classified information through gross negligence. He was arrested at his home in Westlake Village, near Los Angeles, where he lives with his wife and son. He is free on $250,000 bail.
Mrs. Leung, 49, was arrested by agents at her home in the affluent San Marino area of Los Angeles and charged with obtaining documents concerning the country's national defense for the advantage of a foreign nation. Code-named "Parlor Maid," Mrs. Leung was paid $1.7 million by the FBI over a 20-year period. She is being held without bail.
Mrs. Leung was an active Republican fund-raiser and donor to several Republican candidates and the Republican Party. She reportedly made more than 2,100 contacts with Communist Chinese officials in this country and overseas, reporting her conversations to the FBI.
An FBI affidavit said Mr. Smith routinely debriefed Mrs. Leung "at her residence and on occasion took classified documents there and left them unattended." The affidavit said Mrs. Leung surreptitiously photocopied some of them and that "documents she obtained in this manner have been recovered from her residence."
A second former FBI agent who worked in counterintelligence also has admitted having an affair with Mrs. Leung.
William Cleveland Jr., 60, the son of a former FBI assistant director, acknowledged the affair in a letter of resignation as chief of security at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, where he worked since his 1993 retirement from the FBI. He has not been charged.
Authorities said Mr. Cleveland told his FBI supervisors he had obtained a tape of Mrs. Leung speaking with a Chinese intelligence agent in 1991, a conversation in which she was acting on her own. He also told Mr. Smith about the conversation and, according to court records, was told that the problem had been addressed.
Mr. Cleveland was assigned to the FBI's San Francisco Field Office in Chinese counterintelligence. The Livermore facility where he was employed is operated by the University of California and is one of the nation's major nuclear-weapons development laboratories.
Mr. Hatch's spokesman, Adam Elggren, did not return a call for comment.
In their letter, the senators said recent decisions by Attorney General John Ashcroft to relax Justice Department guidelines in the handling of confidential informants forced the committee to "ascertain whether or not there is a need to revisit those decisions made without notice or consultation with this committee in light of the revelations in the Los Angeles case."
"We certainly do not wish to interfere in any way with the conduct of an ongoing investigation. However, while the Department of Justice works to prosecute any wrongdoers in the Los Angeles case, we believe it is incumbent on the Judiciary Committee to examine whether there are larger security issues that continue to persist," they said.
"If even a portion of the allegations raised in the public affidavit are true, we cannot afford to wait until yet another breach of national security occurs before we work with the FBI to improve security and the handling of confidential informants," they said.
During the weekend, Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, Connecticut Democrat and a 2004 presidential candidate, also asked for a Justice Department and FBI investigation, saying he wants to know whether any of Mrs. Leung's contributions to Republican campaigns came from the Chinese government.



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