Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), when he served as Pennsylvania state Treasurer, oversaw investments worth over $31 million in 2006 from the state worker pensions into a Chinese government-backed firm, which has since been considered a national security threat.
The New York Post first reported that Pennsylvania’s 2006 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report showed that the Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System had a major holding — valued at $31,386,930 — in China Mobile Ltd., which was also the eighth-largest foreign asset held.
The reports that covered the two previous years did not show China Mobile as one of the fund’s ten largest international holdings. Additionally, the state report for 2007 also did not show China Mobile in the same fund’s ten largest international holdings.
Since China Mobile showed up on the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System, it was designated a national security threat by the Department of Defense in June 2020, when the department noted that the company was part of the Chinese Communist Party’s “military-civil fusion national strategy.” As a result, the New York Stock Exchange delisted the company in January 2021. Additionally, President Joe Biden issued an executive order in June 2021 that demanded shareholders divest from certain companies, including China Mobile, over national security threats. Then, in March 2022, the Federal Communications Commission also deemed the Chinese company a national security threat.
Casey served as state auditor general from 1997 to 2005 and state treasurer from 2005 to 2007. During that time, he oversaw the Pennsylvania taxpayers, as he would have sat on the Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System board that oversaw the investments. The New York Post explained:
The holdings in China Mobile were overseen by Casey as the fund’s custodian as well as 10 other board members of the Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System, including former Pennsylvania House members Nicholas J. Maiale, Michael F. Gerber, and Robert W. Godshall; and former Pennsylvania state senators Gibson E. Armstrong, Raphael J. Musto, and M. Joseph Rocks.
The senator also stated in a press release in July 2008 that, as Auditor General and State Treasurer of Pennsylvania, he “took a particular interest in the two state public pension funds, for teachers and public employees, which are traditional defined benefit plans” and that he “audited both funds” as Auditor General and “served as a trustee for both funds” as state treasurer.
Despite all this, a spokeswoman for Casey’s office told the Post that Casey should not be held responsible for the Chinese-linked investment, stating, “This story is a false attack — the investment in question was made before Bob Casey became State Treasurer in 2005.”
“No one is tougher on China than Senator Casey,” the spokeswoman claimed. “During his time in the Senate, he has fought to crack down on China’s currency manipulation and against unfair trade practices and US corporations that invest in China at the expense of American workers.”
However, the spokeswoman reportedly did not respond to the Post‘s follow-up questions on if the senator had approved further investments into China Mobile in 2006.
After Casey became a United States senator, he was succeeded as state treasurer by Robin Wiessmann. Wiessmann was listed as the state treasurer on the 2006 financial report; however, that is because Casey became a senator on January 3, 2007, and the document was not published and finalized and published until June 2007 — six months after Casey was sworn in as a senator and less than two months after Wiessmann assumed office on April 30, 2007.
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Jacob Bliss is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @JacobMBliss.
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