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Criminal Probe Launched Into Death of Mitch McConnell’s Sister-In-Law

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Authorities have launched an investigation into the death of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s sister-in-law after she was found dead in a vehicle that was submerged in a pond near Austin, Texas.

“This incident was not a typical accident,” the Blanco County Sheriff’s Office reportedly wrote in a letter to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Thursday regarding the death of Foremost Group CEO Angela Chao, sister to Elaine Chao, President Trump’s Transportation Secretary.

“Although the preliminary investigation indicated this was an unfortunate accident, the Sheriff’s Office is still investigating this accident as a criminal matter until they have sufficient evidence to rule out criminal activity,” the letter continued, per CNBC.

The Foremost Group, a shipping company, was founded by the Chao sisters’ father, James Si-Cheng Chao, in 1964. Si-Cheng Chao was a Chinese immigrant.

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More than 70 percent of the Foremost Group’s freight, which it charters on behalf of private companies, ships to China.

Elaine stated that her family remembered her sister Angela Chao as a “brilliant woman, a charismatic and visionary leader.”

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“It is with a heavy heart and deep sadness that I announce the passing of my beloved youngest daughter, Angela Chao,” father James S.C. Chao said in a statement to the Daily Mail.

“Angela is a brilliant woman, a charismatic and visionary leader, and much-loved by all her sisters, our entire family, and friends. As a daughter, sister, mother, aunt, wife, and friend, she was unfailingly filial, thoughtful, kind, and devoted. These qualities were complemented by a spirited personality, exceptional intelligence, compassion for all, and a wonderful sense of humor. She kept us laughing and smiling. Losing her at such a young age is something we never even imagined, and our entire family is devastated with grief,” the family added in its statement.

“As a trailblazer for women in the executive suite, she inspired others to pursue their dreams. She also loved music and tried the French horn as her instrument when she was young, insisting on carrying it herself to every lesson. These early experiences created a lifelong, passionate commitment to the fine arts … Angela’s name in Chinese sounds like the characters for peace and prosperity. She certainly gave more than her share of both to this world. Her absence leaves a void not only in our hearts but in the Asian-American community,” the statement added.

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“The Asian American Foundation is heartbroken to learn of the devastating death of Angela Chao, a beloved businesswoman, philanthropist, and respected leader,” the AAF said in a statement. “Angela has left an indelible mark on the Asian American Foundation and the AAPI community. A brilliant and committed leader, Angela’s warmth, kindness, and infectious energy will live on in our work for decades to come.”

McConnell, meanwhile, who has led the Senate for the longest period ever and survived significant upheavals within the Republican Party for nearly 20 years, will step down from his role in November.

“McConnell, who turned 82 last week, was set to announce his decision Wednesday in the well of the Senate, a place where he looked in awe from its back benches in 1985 when he arrived and where he grew increasingly comfortable in the front row seat afforded the party leaders,” the Associated Press reported.

“One of life’s most underappreciated talents is knowing when it’s time to move on to life’s next chapter,” he said in prepared remarks obtained by The Associated Press. “So I stand before you today … to say that this will be my last term as Republican leader of the Senate.”

“His decision punctuates a powerful ideological transition underway in the Republican Party, from Ronald Reagan’s brand of traditional conservatism and strong international alliances to the fiery, often isolationist populism of former President Donald Trump,” the AP reported.

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