“[Mike Rogers] and his wife have gained hundreds of thousands of dollars in wealth through companies that have partnered with Chinese firms”

LANSING — New reporting from the Detroit News finds that Mike Rogers has gained “hundreds of thousands of dollars in wealth through companies that have partnered with Chinese firms.” After leaving Congress, Rogers “worked for AT&T, which faced pushback for its entanglements with a Chinese telecom giant,” and Rogers’ wife “is on the board of a company that’s touted its partnership with a China-based entity.” 

The new report shines a spotlight on “the business relationships that Rogers engaged in over the last decade as a prominent ex-lawmaker, apparently making himself a multi-millionaire.”

In 2012, Rogers served as the House intelligence chairman, where he “co-authored a report on Chinese telecommunications companies, specifically saying Huawei Technologies ‘may be violating United States laws.’” About two years after Rogers left Congress, he began working as “chief security adviser for AT&T, a company that drew criticism, around that same time, from federal lawmakers for its connections with Huawei.” 

In August 2017, the Chinese telecommunications company “Huawei was ‘on the verge’ of a deal with AT&T to sell Huawei’s phones in the U.S.” In January 2018, “lawmakers were pressuring AT&T to ‘cut commercial ties’ with Huawei.” In April 2019, it was reported that “AT&T used ‘Huawei’s gear to run a large part of the wireless network in Mexico.’

Rogers’ wife Kristi “is on the board of [Qualys,] a company that’s touted its partnership with a China-based entity,” and she has “more than $1 million in [Qualys] stock.” In October 2020, Qualys announced “it was expanding into China.”

Since Rogers left Congress, his “personal wealth has spiked,” and he has “a potential maximum of $11.3 million in assets that he controlled or he and his wife jointly controlled.” Over the last two-year period, Rogers disclosed “nearly $2 million in income… including $460,000 from Nokia and $724,887 through a Virginia-based firm called IronNet Cybesecurity.”

“Mike Rogers sold out Michigan and our national security to China so he could get rich. It couldn’t be more clear that he isn’t in this race for Michigan’s families — he’s only in it for himself,” said Michigan Democratic Party spokesperson Sam Chan.

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Detroit News: Mike Rogers targets China in Senate campaign, but his own connections draw criticism

  • Former U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers has made criticizing China a centerpiece of his campaign for the Senate, but the GOP candidate and his wife have gained hundreds of thousands of dollars in wealth through companies that have partnered with Chinese firms.
  • … [Rogers’] wife is on the board of a company that’s touted its partnership with a China-based entity. And Rogers himself briefly worked for AT&T, which faced pushback for its entanglements with a Chinese telecom giant. 
  • The circumstance points to the business relationships that Rogers engaged in over the last decade as a prominent ex-lawmaker, apparently making himself a multi-millionaire, according to a financial disclosure, with a waterfront home in Florida, but potentially complicating his Senate bid in the battleground state of Michigan.
  • But his résumé is drawing critiques in Michigan from both sides of the aisle. Sandy Pensler, a businessman who is also seeking the GOP nomination for the Senate, recently labeled Rogers “an unprincipled career politician.”
  • “Rogers’ selfish pattern of using political influence to personally profit from partnerships with the Chinese Communist government against the interests of our country is disgusting,” Pensler said.
  • In 2012, Rogers, who was then-the House intelligence chairman, co-authored a report on Chinese telecommunications companies, specifically saying Huawei Technologies “may be violating United States laws.” That year, he also appeared on “60 Minutes” and advised businesses in the U.S. not to work with Huawei, which was attempting to gain a foothold in the U.S. market.
  • Rogers voiced concerns about the Chinese government using its power to get access to information held by Huawei.
  • “I would find another vendor if you care about your intellectual property, if you care about your consumers’ privacy and you care about the national security of the United States of America,” Rogers said during the 2012 TV appearance.
  • Rogers didn’t seek reelection to the U.S. House in 2014 and began working at some point in 2016, about two years later, as chief security adviser for AT&T, a company that drew criticism, around that same time, from federal lawmakers for its connections with Huawei.
  • The publication Fortune in August 2017 reported that Huawei was “on the verge” of a deal with AT&T to sell Huawei’s phones in the U.S.
  • Then, in January 2018, the effort collapsed, and Reuters reported that U.S. lawmakers were pressuring AT&T to “cut commercial ties” with Huawei. At the time, a firm called Navigators Global, which prominently features two former chiefs of staff who worked for Rogers, was lobbying in Washington, D.C., on behalf of AT&T. AT&T paid Navigators Global $240,000 in 2018, according to disclosures.
  • In April 2019, the Wall Street Journal reported that AT&T used “Huawei’s gear to run a large part of the wireless network in Mexico.”
  • Sam Chan, spokeswoman for the Michigan Democratic Party, said Rogers had “sold out Michigan and our national security to China so he could get rich.”
  • It’s unclear how much money Rogers made working for AT&T. His campaign wouldn’t release the figure. His contract with AT&T ended at some point in 2017, according to his campaign.
  • Rogers also has worked more recently as a risk analyst for the Nokia Corporation, another telecommunications company. In the two years before launching his Senate campaign in 2023, Rogers made $460,000 with Nokia, according to his required financial disclosure.
  • In January, Nokia announced it was selling its own stake in a China-based venture it was involved in with Huawei. 
  • Rogers’ financial disclosure also showed that his wife, Kristi, a businesswoman and former government official, had more than $1 million in stock in a technology company called Qualys Inc., on which she serves as a board member. Kristi Rogers was elected to the board in 2013, said Rachel Yap Winship, a spokeswoman for Qualys.
  • Qualys announced in October 2020 that it was expanding into China through the establishment of a private cloud platform and a partnership with an entity called Digital China. Digital China’s website describes its work as advancing the “great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation by digital technologies.”
  • Meanwhile, Rogers’ personal wealth has spiked since he left the U.S. House at the beginning of 2015. As a lawmaker, he was making about $174,000 a year. His 2013 financial disclosure listed him as having up to $380,000 in personal assets.
  • His 2023 disclosure, required to be filed as he launched his Senate campaign, listed Rogers having a potential maximum of $11.3 million in assets that he controlled or he and his wife jointly controlled. He disclosed nearly $2 million in income over the previous two-year period, including $460,000 from Nokia and $724,887 through a Virginia-based firm called IronNet Cybesecurity.
  • Rogers and his wife purchased a $1.6 million, five-bedroom home in Cape Coral, Florida, in 2022, according to Florida property tax records. On Sept. 7, Rogers told reporters that he had some business interests that inspired the move outside of Michigan, but he was now living in Brighton.

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