James Chang Berkeley Politico Is Innocent And Has Eyewitness Affidavit

James Chang Berkeley Politico Is Innocent And Has Eyewitness Affidavit

James Chang, the Chief of Staff to Berkeley Councilmember Ben Bartlett who was accused of sexual assault earlier this year, has long professed his innocence.  Now, Mr. Chang has a signed affidavit from a witness who was at the event that says he did not do anything to the person who made the claim. 

Here is what James Chang wrote on his campaign website and appeared in this op-ed post in ZennieReport.com: https://zenniereport.com/2024/06/01/james-chang-berkeley-politico-says-claims-against-him-were-false/

On his campaign website, Mr. Chang wrote "Multiple allegations by an unnamed individual were published today in a suspiciously timed Daily Cal article. This article, released on the final day of the election, was intended to hurt me politically. The attack weaponizes very serious subject matter for political purposes, Including bolstering my opponent, who was endorsed by the Daily Cal. The weighty allegations in this story are blatantly false.”

James Chang continued “I did attend a concert on March 30th with a date. This person Is approximately 25 years old and not the child-student the Daily Cal suggests. We attended the concert together with two other people and I was in a public space with hundreds of other people the entire time. My date and I were in close proximity to each other during the musical event. I deny categorically that I ever touched their genitals as the article claims.”

James Chang continued “The individual mentioned in the Daily Cal’s story did at one point indicate he was going to the bathroom, but took my wallet and coat with him. He has refused to return my things following my repeated written request to do so."

James Chang continued “When my date went home without me and wouldn’t return my things, I became concerned he was upset about something or that I had made him uncomfortable in someway. Via texts and in phone messages, I apologized again and again for causing any distress. But I never apologized for a sexual assault as the source of the Daily Cal article implied, because there never was asexual assault.”

James Chang continued: “This destructive and defamatory story includes a number of lies which suggest the source of much of the article may not have been the person who accompanied me on March 30th but the journalist’s inventions. These inaccuracies could have been avoided if the journalist(s) had done due diligence:

• The Daily Cal appears to not have spoken with any independent witnesses, and independent witnesses are available.

• My date on March 30th was never a campaign volunteer or affiliated with the campaign, so there was no power dynamic to be concerned with.

• Anyone actually at that dinner would remember the entire meal was ‘comped’ because one of the dinner attendees was served with a glass which broke while being drunk from. I did not buy dinner for anyone because there was no bill to pay.

In writing the op-ed piece for ZennieReport.com, Zennie Abraham, Zennie62Media, Inc. CEO, received a communication from an eyewitness who did not want to be named for this release, but was the person at the event with James Chang.  The witness affidavit reads as follows:

On March 30, 2024, I attended a concert with James Chang and his date. I was there with them the whole time, they were never alone, I was sober. Here’s what really happened: a group of us went out to an event. Everyone danced and partied. I witnessed no sexual harassment or assault. I know who made the false and defamatory report because he took James Chang’s wallet. This individual accused of James taking drugs – there was no sexual harassment, touching, or assault during the time which we were with James the whole time until 1:30am, March 31, 2024. During the middle of the group together, the individual left the group abruptly and took James’ wallet and coat that did not belong to him, and hasn’t returned them. To this date, no press, no police, has contacted me or to my knowledge anyone else who was at the event.
I, Name Witheld, under the penalty of perjury, do hereby certify that the foregoing information is true and correct.
This is the 22 day of April, 2024.

– Statement from Eyewitness who did not give permission to use their name here. 

As the ZennieReport.com article has pointed to, there are a number of actions that are questionable.  Among them, not just the timing of the news report, issued on Election Day, but the fact that The Daily Californian was the issuer of the news about the now debuncked allegation and the same publication that endorsed James Chang's challenger, UC Berkeley undergraduate student Cecilia Lunaparra.  

Why didn't  The Daily Californian wait until after Election Day to report the news about James Chang, given their support for Lunaparra? The Daily Californian did not acknoweldge that its role as endorser of Lunaparra and sole reporter of news about the misunderstanding that would be directly beneficial to her campaign.  The Daily Californian announced its endorsement at the start of the month of April and days before the information that led to its news report would drop on April 16th.  

The Daily Californian is also owned by the Independent Berkeley Students Publishing Company, Inc, a 501(c)4 nonprofit organization.   IRS rules regarding 501(c)4 organizations, calling them “social welfare organizations”, state “The promotion of social welfare does not include direct or indirect participation or intervention in political campaigns on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office.”   

The Daily Californian endorsement of any candidate, including Cecilia Lunaparra, is clearly against IRS rules. The Daily Californian did not take time to explain where it begins and where its 501(c)4 publisher Independent Berkeley Students Publishing Company ends in its editorial content on the City Council elections.  Indeed, the Independent Berkeley Students Publishing Company is generally described as “Daily Californian” in parenthesis, and there's no language pointing to any firewall between the two organizations; they are one and the same.  


Media Contact:
Zennie Abraham, CEO
[email protected]