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As the deadline for the closing of the Chinese consulate in Houston approached on Friday afternoon, employees hauled out bags of supplies and heaved them into a van.

Then, shortly after 4 p.m., a locksmith forced his way inside using power tools and a crowbar, and the U.S. State Department took over.

“We announced the closure of the Chinese consulate in Houston because it was a hub of spying and intellectual property theft,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared in a speech last week.

(The State Department sent The Intercept a boilerplate statement but declined to answer questions or make officials available for an interview.)

The New York Times obtained a seven-page document last week that purportedly outlined several FBI investigations connected to the Houston consulate.

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