March 13, 2024

By Elizabeth Elkind


EXCLUSIVE: House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., is criticizing former Attorney General Loretta Lynch for reportedly lobbying the Pentagon on behalf of a company known as DJI, which makes Chinese military tech.

“It is disgraceful but unsurprising that Barack Obama’s former Attorney General Loretta Lynch is now working on behalf of a Communist Chinese drone company that the Department of Defense has identified as a Chinese military company,” Stefanik told Fox News Digital.

“Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch is lobbying the DOD to request they remove DJI from this list so the Communist Chinese company can operate with impunity in America. U.S. government officials, both past and present, should be working to ban these Communist Chinese spy drones and bolster the domestic drone industry, not advocating on behalf of a Chinese military company and the Chinese Communist Party.”

Lynch, who served under former President Barack Obama, is now a partner at law firm Paul, Weiss. She specializes in congressional investigations and national security, among other issues, according to her webpage on the company site.

Stefanik’s comments come after a report earlier this week suggested Lynch could be leveraging her government connections to aid a Chinese government-linked company.

Reuters reported that she wrote a letter to the Pentagon last summer on behalf of one of her clients, SZ DJI Technology Co., asking for them to be removed from the DOD’s list of Chinese military companies.

Fox News Digital reached out to Paul, Weiss and the Pentagon for confirmation.

The report noted that it’s legal for lawyers to advocate for foreign clients without mandatory public disclosure of their work.

DJI is one of the largest producers of drones in the world. The U.S. Treasury placed investment restrictions on it in December 2021, accusing it and seven other companies of actively supporting surveillance and repression efforts against Uyghurs.

Meanwhile, in Congress, a House GOP-led effort could restrict DJI’s activity in the U.S. even further. Stefanik and House China select Committee Chair Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., are leading a bill called the Countering CCP Drones Act, which would ban DJI from operating on U.S. communications infrastructure.