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Why Haven't Charges Been Filed Against an Ex-State Dept. Employee Who Allegedly Spied for the Chinese?

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Will prosecutors file any charges against the former State Department employee who allegedly helped the Chinese spy on Americans?

The answer to that question as of right now is no.

A November 2014 court document obtained by Fox News shows the FBI launched an investigation into the actions of Xiaoming Gao, who worked at the State Department as a language interpreter from June 2010 until as recently as last year.

The Justice Department has so far declined to prosecute Gao, even after the federal investigation revealed that she received "thousands of dollars to provide information on U.S. persons and a U.S. government employee."

The document also shows that Gao met with someone by the name of "Teacher Zhao" in Chinese hotel rooms for years. While working at the State Department, Gao lived "for free" with another department employee who held a top-secret security clearance.

Reporters have pressed for more answers from the State Department in the wake of the revelations, but spokeswoman Marie Harf only referred them to the FBI, which in turn referred questions back to the State Department.

"She was employed as a contract interpreter until February 2014, is not employed here anymore and so for any additional questions on this I'd refer you to the FBI," Harf told reporters Monday.

"The FBI is referring us back to State, however," one reporter told Harf.

"Well, I'm referring you back to them," Harf shot back before moving onto other questions.

Gao's time at the State Department overlapped with both former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and current Secretary of State John Kerry. The employee who is believed to have let Gao stay rent-free at first declined to comment to Fox News but later agreed to provide more details.

The affidavit shows Gao told the FBI that she once shared an American's travel plans with at least one person whom she knew to be a Chinese intelligence official. The American said he was later interrogated by the Chinese and they imprisoned one of his family members on a trip to Tibet.

Although the U.S. attorney's office in Washington, D.C., recently said it would not prosecute the case, former Bush administration deputy assistant attorney general Thomas Dupree can't imagine why Gao won't face charges.

"It's not clear to me, based on the court files that were unsealed, how a prosecution of this person could possibly have compromised U.S. intelligence gathering. If it jeopardizes or threatens to disrupt relations with another country, so be it," Dupree told Fox. "That you have to draw the line somewhere, and that we need to send a message that this sort of conduct and activity simply will not be tolerated.

Neither the State Department nor the FBI immediately responded to TheBlaze when asked for further comment.

(H/T: Fox News)

Follow Jon Street (@JonStreet) on Twitter

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