Seven Republican Senators voted on Wednesday to confirm Eric Garcetti, President Joe Biden’s nominee for ambassador to India and former Los Angeles mayor, despite his ties to individuals belonging to alleged Chinese Communist Party (CCP) intelligence front groups.
Republican Sens. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Steve Daines of Montana, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Bill Hagerty of Tennessee, Roger Marshall of Kansas and Todd Young of Indiana voted to confirm Garcetti following a delay of over 20 months arising from allegations that, while in office, he helped cover up sexual assaults committed by his former aide, Rick Jacobs.
The confirmation vote, 52-42, also comes just days after the Daily Caller News Foundation revealed that a mayoral fund set up by Garcetti accepted over $1 million in donations from individuals who belong to alleged CCP influence and intelligence fronts.
“We need an ambassador to India,” Graham told the DCNF.
“As a former U.S. Ambassador to Japan, I know firsthand that this is a critical U.S. diplomatic position,” Hagerty told the DCNF. “Our relations with India are vital to our strategic interests in the Indo-Pacific.”
Cassidy, Collins, Daines, Marshall and Young did not respond immediately to the DCNF’s requests for comment.
Conversely, after the vote, Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio told reporters: “I don’t think he’s qualified, especially with all the questions still circling around his previous tenure.”
Shortly after the 2014 founding of the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles — a nonprofit which reportedly allowed donors to further Garcetti’s agenda without donating to his political campaign — the organization began accepting funds from Dominic Ng, president and CEO of East West Bank, and Walter Wang, head of JM Eagle, who both have ties to alleged CCP intel front groups, the DCNF recently reported.
Wang donated $200,000 to the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles in 2014 and $1 million in 2020, according to multiple media reports.
Ng, whom Biden appointed to represent the U.S. at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), donated $20,000 to Garcetti’s nonprofit in 2014, according to The Los Angeles Times.
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