23 Feb, 2024
1 min read

Mon. Marsha Blackburn wrong about US attorney nominee

Last week, I wrote that Sen. Marsha Blackburn had not spoken out on the Casey Arrowood nomination for US Attorney for Eastern Tennessee. Spencer Hurwitz, her communications director, emailed to say Blackburn had endorsed Arrowood on Fox News.

I had not seen her comments. However, on Dec. 15, in response to Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, who had criticized the Arrowood nomination as “anti-Asian,” Blackburn said it is a “shame” that Democrats are stonewalling a “well qualified” Arrowood for “prosecuting a potential (Chinese Communist Party) spy.”

Rep.  Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., leaves the House chamber Thursday after the House narrowly passed a GOP budget that shelves long-standing concern over federal deficits in favor of a rewrite of the tax code.  AP Photo/J.  SCOTT APPLEWHITE

Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., leaves the House chamber Thursday after the House narrowly passed a GOP budget that shelves long-standing concern over federal deficits in favor of a rewrite of the tax code. AP Photo/J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE

The “potential” person in question is University of Tennessee at Knoxville professor Anming Hu. Blackburn was wrong in her description of Hu on two counts. First, he was prosecuted by the Department of Justice on charges of wire fraud and false statements, not espionage. Most importantly, he was acquitted by federal Judge Thomas Varlan in his second trial − the first was declared a mistrial after the jury could not reach a verdict.

Anming Hu is photographed outside of the Nathan W. Dougherty Engineering Building on the University of Tennessee at Knoxville campus on Friday, Feb.  4, 2022. Hu, a professor, was falsely accused of espionage and later reinstated by UT.

Anming Hu is photographed outside of the Nathan W. Dougherty Engineering Building on the University of Tennessee at Knoxville campus on Friday, Feb. 4, 2022. Hu, a professor, was falsely accused of espionage and later reinstated by UT.

Hu was never prosecuted for being a spy and stands acquitted on all charges. He has been restored to his prior position at UT. There is no evidence he was ever a spy.

The Arrowood nomination is now history and can be revived only if President Joe Biden resubmits it to the new Congress. I asked Hurwitz if Blackburn favored Arrowood being resubmitted, but he

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