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The Georgia GOP is accusing Democratic Senate candidate Jon Ossoff of "knowingly failing to disclose" compensation from Hong Kong company PCCW Media Limited, which is connected to the Chinese government, after he amended a campaign financial disclosure amid a Senate runoff election that is turning increasingly ugly.
The Georgia GOP sent a "request for investigation" regarding Ossoff's July amendment to the Senate Ethics Committee on Tuesday with less than a month until Jan. 5, the runoff election date. Such ethics complaints rarely result in any form of discipline, according to analysis by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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"Jon Ossoff tried to hide his connection to a media company with direct ties to the Communist Chinese government. We’re asking the Senate Ethics Committee to look into this further, because we believe this was an intentional effort to conceal information from the people of Georgia," Georgia GOP Executive Director Stewart Bragg said in a statement on Wednesday.
Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate Jon Ossoff speaks during a news conference on Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
The Republicans allege the timing of the disclosure, which came after the Democratic primary, meant "Georgia voters were not given an accurate assessment of his financial situation."
Ossoff's Republican opponent Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., was quick to criticize him as well.
"Jon Ossoff has a China problem. His shoddy explanations about his business ties with the communist Chinese government raise more questions than they answer — and leave Georgians doubtful that Ossoff can be trusted to hold foreign adversaries accountable," Perdue said in a statement to Fox News. "It's time Jon Ossoff start living by that high standard of transparency he talks so much about."
A spokeswoman for Ossoff called the complaint "utterly false and desperate."
"David Perdue's fever dream that Jon Ossoff is some kind of Chinese communist agent because a TV channel in Hong Kong once broadcast two of his company's films exposing ISIS war crimes is one of the most laughable smear campaigns in Georgia history," Ossoff's spokeswoman said in a statement.
"Revisions to financial disclosures to ensure they are accurate and complete are totally normal," she added.
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Perdue and Ossoff will face off in the January runoff after neither candidate received more than 50 percent of the votes in November. A final vote count left Perdue with 49.8% of the votes and Ossoff with 47.8%.
Perdue's campaign has criticized Ossoff after his company received thousands of dollars for documentaries that it licensed to Al Jazeera, the controversial media company owned by Qatar. Conservative publication the Washington Free Beacon even recently reported that Ossoff's father Richard Ossoff met with Chinese dignitaries about a decade ago while purchasing a yacht from a Chinese company.
Ossoff received smaller payments from PCCW, which the Chinese government is an 18.4% shareholder in through the Chinese state-owned Assets Supervision & Administration Commission, and PCCW's chairman, Richard Li, opposes the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement. In 2016, according to the Hong Kong Free Press, PCCW's parent company issued a statement that it opposes Hong Kong's independence.
Senator David Perdue (R-Ga.) asks questions during the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the Department of Defense Spectrum Policy and the Impact of the Federal Communications Commission’s Ligado Decision on National Security during the coronavirus disease pandemic on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. May 6, 2020. Greg Nash/Pool via REUTERS – RC29JG9OO6JF
"Mr. Li and the Company are staunchly opposed to the independence of Hong Kong and it is their view that the independence of Hong Kong would not be feasible, and discussing Hong Kong’s independence is a waste of society’s resources," the statement published by the Hong Kong Free Press said.
The Ossoff campaign disowned the PCCW stance on democracy in Hong Kong and condemned the Chinese Communist Party.
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"Jon strongly supports Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement and condemns the brutality and authoritarianism of the Chinese Communist Party," an Ossoff spokeswoman previously said in a statement.
Fox News' Morgan Phillips, Brian Flood and Tyler Olson contributed to this report.
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