Clinton Campaign Finance – A History of Deceit & Fraud
Mochtar Riady and his son, James, who controlled the Indonesian-based Lippo Group conglomerate and had been friends and supporters of President Clinton since his days as Arkansas governor, “have had a long-term relationship with a Chinese intelligence agency,” according to an unclassified final draft of a report by the Senate committee that investigated campaign finance abuses previous to 1998. (Washington Post)
Concern about Chinese activities began in 1996, when the CIA determined that China, which worried that it lacked sufficient influence in U.S. politics and policymaking, planned to raise $3 million for an effort to buy influence with U.S. politicians, according to officials familiar with sensitive intelligence.
In a 1984 interview with an Arkansas magazine, Mochtar Riady outlined his business philosophy:
“Every network has to have its foundation laid on special, personal, human connections. What I am looking at is what my partners can offer in personal contacts and business connections.”
The Riady relationship with Clinton stems from the early 1980s, when family patriarch Mochtar Riady’s Lippo Group bought a minority interest in the Arkansas-based Worthen Bank. Riady dispatched his son James to learn the banking business in Little Rock. Soon after arriving, young Riady was introduced to then-Gov. Clinton at a Worthen luncheon.
The connection formed with Clinton continued after he began his run for the presidency in 1991 and was visible during the 1996 campaign. Since 1991, the Riadys and others connected to Lippo have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Democratic National Committee.
James Riady attended a key Oval Office meeting on Sept. 13, 1995, when Clinton approved the transfer of former Lippo executive John Huang, who had been working in a sub-Cabinet Commerce Department position, to a DNC fund-raising post. In another Oval Office meeting with Clinton in September 1996, Riady lobbied for favorable trade relations with China.
The most significant one-time illegal foreign contribution was a $460,000 donation by Yah Lin “Charlie” Trie to President Bill Clinton’s legal defense fund. The donation was made by delivery of an envelope containing $460,000 in $1,000 contributions, some on sequentially numbered money orders made out in different names but with the same handwriting.
In February 1996, Trie brought Wang Jun, chairman of CITIC, the chief investment arm of the Peoples Republic of China, and Poly Technologies (a “front company for the PRC military” that was later charged with smuggling 2,000 AK-47s into the U.S.), to a White House “coffee” with the president. President Clinton later admitted Wang’s attendance at the White House was “clearly inappropriate.
A close business associate of Clinton Commerce Secretary, Ron Brown, testified in court in 1998 that Brown had told her that Commerce Department trade missions were used for partisan political fund-raising at the behest of President Clinton and the First Lady. Specifically, she said trade mission plane seats were sold to business people who gave at least $50,000 each to the DNC.
Ron Brown, who had been under investigation for fraud and bribery allegations, died in a plane crash in Croatia in April 1996.
A Commerce Department official reportedly threw away official government documents concerning the department’s trade missions to China after a judge ordered they be turned over to Judicial Watch, a conservative government watchdog group. According to the court:
“No adequate explanation has been given as to why these documents were destroyed.” Furthermore, the judge said: “[the Department's] misconduct in this case is so egregious and so extensive that… the agency [should be held] fully accountable for the serious violations that it appears to have deliberately committed”.
Johnny Chung also attended some of Ron Brown’s Commerce Department trade missions to Asia. Chung made forty-nine separate visits to the White House between February 1994 and February 1996.
Between 1994 and 1996, Chung donated $366,000 to the DNC. Eventually, all of the money was returned. Chung told federal investigators that $35,000 of the money he donated came from Liu Chaoying and, in turn, China’s military intelligence.
Chung was eventually convicted of bank fraud, tax evasion, and two misdemeanor counts of conspiring to violate election law.
Al Gore Networks
Taiwan-born Maria Hsia (pronounced “Shyä”) began her association with Al Gore in 1996. Their relationship came to an end when she was charged with money-laundering in early 1998. The Justice Department alleged Hsia facilitated $100,000 in illegal contributions to the 1996 Clinton-Gore reelection campaign through her efforts at the Hsi Lai Temple in California.
Gore in Denial, The Clinton Two-Step
“I did not know that it was a fund-raiser. But I knew it was a political event, and I knew there were finance people that were going to be present, and so that alone should have told me, ‘This is inappropriate and this is a mistake; don’t do this.’ And I take responsibility for that. It was a mistake.” — Vice President Al Gore on NBC TV’s Today show, Jan. 24, 1997.
In response, the U.S. Senate Governmental Affairs Committee that investigated the controversy said:
“The Vice President’s staff… knew that the Temple event was a fundraiser. In March 1996, Deputy Chief of Staff David Strauss had helped arrange a meeting in the White House with the founder of the temple, – a meeting which Strauss believed would ‘lead to a lot of $.’ The White House staff repeatedly referred to the event as a ‘fundraiser’ in internal correspondence, and assigned to it a ‘ticket price’ of ‘1000–5000 [dollars per] head’.”
A memo written by John Huang to Vice President Gore’s assistant Kimberly Tilley specifically mentioned the Temple meeting was a fund-raising event. It is illegal for religious organizations to hold political fund-raising events in the U.S. due to their tax-exempt status.
Another notable figure involved in the affair was Ted Sioeng who illegally donated money to Democrats. Sioeng, an Indonesian entrepreneur who could not speak English, was invited to sit side-by-side with President Clinton or Vice President Gore at three different fund-raising events.
According to the U.S. Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, $200,000 of the $400,000 that Sioeng and his family gave to Democrats was “funded by transfer from overseas accounts.”
Hillary’s Finance Friend
Mr. Norman Hsu is a major fund-raiser for Hillary Clinton and other Democrats. When Democrats won control of Congress in November, Mr. Hsu threw a party at New York City hot spot Buddakan with many prominent party leaders.
Press reports said that toward the end of the night, he grabbed the microphone from the deejay and shouted: “If you are supporters of Hillary for President 2008, you can stay. Otherwise, get out.”
Mr. Hsu has pledged to raise $100,000 or more for Mrs. Clinton, earning the title of “HillRaiser” along with a few hundred other top financial backers of her campaign. Earlier this year, he co-hosted a fund-raiser that raised $1 million for Mrs. Clinton at the Beverly Hills, Calif., home of billionaire Ron Burkle. He is listed as a co-host for another Clinton fund-raiser next month in northern California.
However, Mr. Hsu won’t be doing any further fund-raising, instead he is off to a California jail for grand theft charges to which he had pleaded no contest in 1992, then fled before facing sentencing.
Mr. Hsu doesn’t seem to have connections with foreign governments but he has a past of fraud and deceit, which fits nicely into a Hillary Clinton campaign finance portfolio.
The common thread with all of the “illegal money” is money is turned over to charity, or returned along with denials of any wrongdoing. Mr. Hsu could have been properly vetted if the Clinton Campaign or DNC and could see past the extravagance and money. Instead, they turned a blind eye because they could always fall back on the denials that have worked so well for them in the past.
Clinton campaign spokesman Howard Wolfson responded to questions about Mr. Hsu by saying “there has been no question about his integrity or his commitment to playing by the rules, and we have absolutely no reason to call his contributions into question.”
“We regularly review contributions as we receive them,” Mr. Wolfson said yesterday. “We will continue our practice of scrutinizing contributions and, should we have a basis to return a contribution, we will do so.”
The Clinton contribution review process must be backlogged for years. The buck always stops with a Clinton denial, donors escaping the law and investigations that go no where.
A gentlemen from “Basket of Puppies” put together a massive list of Republican corruption. I challenged him on the list, which contains alot of allegations, innuendo, no convictions. I also mentioned the Clinton’s, for what list on either side of the isle could miss an opportunity to discuss one of the most sordid stories on campaign finance than the Clintons.
The blogger wrote to me:
“It was easier because the events are more recent. I imagine if I had access to a newspaper database so I could search the Clinton years it would be just as easy. Either way, I’d love to see a side-by-side comparison.”
Well it wasn’t so difficult to describe the Clinton escapades and expose their dirt. In fact, it’s necessary to keep exposing the Clinton’s so we don’t rent the White House, the “People’s House”, to foreign contributors with ties to Communist countries and their military and intelligence agencies.