President-elect Joe Biden’s inaugural committee is refunding a donation from former Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) after she registered as a foreign agent for a Chinese surveillance firm, Axios reported on Tuesday. The firm, Hikvision, was blocked by the Trump administration from doing business with U.S. firms in 2019 over accusations it’s being used to surveil China’s Uighur population. Boxer represented the Golden State in the Senate from 1993 to 2017, and was succeeded by Biden’s vice president-elect, Kamala Harris. “When I am asked to provide strategic advice to help a company operate in a more responsible and humane manner consistent with U.S. law in spirit and letter, it is an opportunity to make things better while helping protect and create American jobs,” Boxer said in a statement.
After the Axios story broke Tuesday, Boxer subsequently announced that she would no longer represent Hikvision. “I have determined that my continued involvement has become a negative distraction,” she said in a second statement. “So I will be de-registering.”