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China to investigate ex-President Hu's top aide, Ling Jihua, for disciplinary violations

  • FILE - In this March 14, 2012 file photo, Ling Jihua, a loyal aide and confidante to President Hu Jintao, is seen as Chinese President Hu Jintao signs a document after attending the closing ceremony of the National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.  The top aide to former Chinese President Hu has been placed under investigation for disciplinary violations, the official Xinhua News Agency said Monday, Dec. 22, 2014. The evening announcement came two years after Ling Jihua fell out of political favor when a lurid scandal involving his alleged cover-up of his son's death in a speeding Ferrari disrupted his political ascent.(AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)

    FILE - In this March 14, 2012 file photo, Ling Jihua, a loyal aide and confidante to President Hu Jintao, is seen as Chinese President Hu Jintao signs a document after attending the closing ceremony of the National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. The top aide to former Chinese President Hu has been placed under investigation for disciplinary violations, the official Xinhua News Agency said Monday, Dec. 22, 2014. The evening announcement came two years after Ling Jihua fell out of political favor when a lurid scandal involving his alleged cover-up of his son's death in a speeding Ferrari disrupted his political ascent.(AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this March 11, 2012 file photo, Ling Jihua, top left, a loyal aide and confidante to President Hu Jintao, bottom right, sits behind Premier Wen Jiabao, bottom left, and Hu as they attend a plenary session of the National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.  The top aide to former Chinese President Hu Jintao has been placed under investigation for disciplinary violations, the official Xinhua News Agency said Monday, Dec. 22, 2014. The evening announcement came two years after Ling Jihua fell out of political favor when a lurid scandal involving his alleged cover-up of his son's death in a speeding Ferrari disrupted his political ascent. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)

    FILE - In this March 11, 2012 file photo, Ling Jihua, top left, a loyal aide and confidante to President Hu Jintao, bottom right, sits behind Premier Wen Jiabao, bottom left, and Hu as they attend a plenary session of the National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. The top aide to former Chinese President Hu Jintao has been placed under investigation for disciplinary violations, the official Xinhua News Agency said Monday, Dec. 22, 2014. The evening announcement came two years after Ling Jihua fell out of political favor when a lurid scandal involving his alleged cover-up of his son's death in a speeding Ferrari disrupted his political ascent. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)  (The Associated Press)

Chinese state media say former President Hu Jintao's top aide is under investigation for disciplinary violations.

The official Xinhua News Agency announced the investigation against Ling Jihua, who once served as head of the Communist Party's general office, in a one-line statement without further details.

Ling's former position is comparable in U.S. politics to the president's chief of staff.

Ling became a household name in 2012 when his son crashed a Ferrari in Beijing with two nude or half-dressed women, according to various reports. Ling Jihua was accused of covering up the scandal.

He had appeared destined for a seat in the party's Politburo in late 2012, but instead was removed from the top leadership when named head of the United Front Work Department.