A Clinton appointee pleaded guilty to treason charges after a federal grand jury indicted her for colluding with foreign agents.
According to a press release from the Department of Justice, Candace Marie Claiborne — who worked under both Hillary and Bill Clinton — pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the U.S. government, concealing contact with foreign spies, obstructing an official proceeding, and making false statements to the FBI.
Claiborne, a 60-year-old veteran State Department employee, possessed a Top Secret security clearance and concealed her extensive contacts with Chinese intelligence agents.
The indictment indicates that Chinese spies lavished Claiborne with thousands of dollars in gifts as part of a pay-for-play scheme.
In addition to cash payments, Chinese spies also paid Claiborne with vacations, an apartment, Apple electronics, and tuition to a Chinese fashion school.
Suggesting she learned tricks from Hillary Clinton, her former boss, Claiborne also told her co-conspirators to delete all emails and evidence after they were busted by U.S. federal officials.
Below is a statement from the DOJ on Claiborne and the indictment:
“Candace Marie Claiborne is a U.S. State Department employee who possesses a Top Secret security clearance and allegedly failed to report her contacts with Chinese foreign intelligence agents who provided her with thousands of dollars of gifts and benefits. Claiborne used her position and her access to sensitive diplomatic data for personal profit. Pursuing those who imperil our national security for personal gain will remain a key priority of the National Security Division.”
“Candace Claiborne is charged with obstructing an official proceeding and making false statements in connection with her alleged concealment and failure to report her improper connections to foreign contacts along with the tens of thousands of dollars in gifts and benefits they provided. As a State Department employee with a Top Secret clearance, she received training and briefing about the need for caution and transparency. This case demonstrates that U.S. government employees will be held accountable for failing to honor the trust placed in them when they take on such sensitive assignments”
“Candace Claiborne is accused of violating her oath of office as a State Department employee, who was entrusted with Top Secret information when she purposefully mislead federal investigators about her significant and repeated interactions with foreign contacts. The FBI will continue to investigate individuals who, though required by law, fail to report foreign contacts, which is a key indicator of potential insider threats posed by those in positions of public trust.”
Claiborne began working as an Office Management Specialist for the Department of State in 1999, which is when former President Bill Clinton was in office.
She worked at the State Department up until her indictment, including when Hillary Clinton served as secretary of state between 2009 and 2012.