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Reliving Hillary’s History: DNC Fundraising Scandals During The Clinton Presidency

- May 15, 2014

In 2008, One Of The Biggest Fears Of The Clinton Campaign Was The “Sort Of Fund-Raising Scandal That Would Echo The Clinton-Era Controversies of The 1990s.” “Of all the possible vulnerabilities facing senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign, Mrs. Clinton has long believed that the one of the biggest was money, friends and advisers say. Some sort of fund-raising scandal that would echo the Clinton-era controversies of the 1990s and make her appear greedy or ethically challenged.” (Patrick Healy, “Clinton Sees Fear Realized In Trouble With Donor,” The New York Times, 9/12/07)

  • “By The End Of The Second Clinton Term In 2001, These [Campaign Finance] Abuses Resulted In The Convictions Of Twenty-One People For Making Illegal Contributions.” (Sally Bedell Smith, For Love Of Politics, 2007, p. 200)

BEFORE CLINTON EVEN WADED INTO HER FIRST PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN, SHE WAS KNEE DEEP IN FUNDRAISING CONTROVERSIES

Today Marks The Day 16 Years Ago That Notorious DNC Fundraiser Johnny Chung Admitted To Funneling $300,000 From A Chinese Military Officer To Democrats. “Democratic fund-raiser Johnny Chung has told Justice Department investigators that a Chinese military officer who is an executive with a state-owned aerospace company gave him $300,000 to donate to the Democrats' 1996 campaign, according to federal officials who said that financial records back up key aspects of his account. Chung's allegations, first reported in the New York Times yesterday, are being treated by the Justice Department as a major development in its 18-month investigation of whether the Chinese government attempted to influence the 1996 election with illegal campaign contributions, the officials said. For the first time, investigators have what appears to be a direct money trail from the Chinese government to Democratic campaign coffers, but the officials emphasized that numerous questions about Chung's activities remain unanswered.” (Robert Suro and Bob Woodward, “Chung Ties Funds To DNC,” The Washington Post, 5/16/98)

  • Johnny Chung Later Pleaded Guilty To Funneling Illegal Contributions To The Clinton Campaign. “Johnny Chung, a Democratic fund-raiser who later pleaded guilty to funneling illegal contributions to the Clinton campaign, had shown up one day in Hillary’s office with a check for $50,000 for the reelection committee.” (Carl Bernstein, A Woman In Charge, 2007, p. 467)
  • “Chung Agreed To Cooperate With Prosecutors After Pleading Guilty To Reimbursing Straw Donors For $20,000 In Illegal Contributions To The Clinton-Gore Re-Election Campaign.” (Gary Fields and Judy Keen, “Task Force, Not Congress, Finds China Link,” USA Today, 5/18/98)

Aides To Then-First Lady Clinton Were Responsible For Accepting Contributions From Johnny Chung And Directing Them To The DNC. “‘You take, you take,’ he [Johnny Chung] demanded of some startled Hillaryland aides. Maggie Williams was summoned, and she accepted the check, then sent it over to the DNC.” (Carl Bernstein, A Woman In Charge, 2007, p. 467)

  • “On March 9, 1995, He [Chung] Arrived At The Old Executive Office Building And Handed A Fifty-Thousand-Dollar Check To Hillary’s Chief Of Staff, Maggie Williams, Who Passed It On To The DNC.” (Sally Bedell Smith, For Love Of Politics, 2007, p. 200)
  • Chung Visited The White House At Least 49 Times, Half Of Which Were Arranged By The First Lady’s Staff. “As early as 1994, a particularly energetic Chinese-American fund-raiser named Johnny Chung came to the White House for the first of forty-nine visits, half of them authorized by Hillary’s office.” (Sally Bedell Smith, For Love Of Politics, 2007, p. 200)
  • “Chung Explained His Methodology To An Interviewer: The White House Was ‘Like A Subway: You Have To Open The Gates.’” (Carl Bernstein, A Woman In Charge, 2007, p. 467)

Chung Made His Contribution Through Williams The Same Week He Escorted Chinese Government Officials To A Clinton Event, Including A Vice President Of A Chinese Weapons Trading Conglomerate. “The payment by Mr. Chung was made the same week that he escorted some officials from the Chinese Government to a taping of President Clinton's weekly radio address at the White House. The group included Huang Jichun, the vice president of a Chinese conglomerate that trades weapons.” (Stephen Labaton, “Aide To First Lady Was Given Check At White House,” The New York Times, 3/6/97)

  • “After That Visit, President Clinton Told His Aides That He ‘Wasn't Sure We'd Want Photos Of Him With These People Circulating Around.”  “After that visit, President Clinton told his aides that he ‘wasn't sure we'd want photos of him with these people circulating around,’ according to a White House document made public last month.” (Stephen Labaton, “Aide To First Lady Was Given Check At White House,” The New York Times, 3/6/97)
  • “And Robert L. Suettinger, A China Specialist On The National Security Council, Warned That Mr. Chung Was ‘A Hustler’ Who Appeared ‘To Be Involved In Setting Up Some Kind Of Consulting Operation That Will Thrive By Bringing Chinese Entrepreneurs Into Town For Exposure To High-Level U.S. Officials.’” (Stephen Labaton, “Aide To First Lady Was Given Check At White House,” The New York Times, 3/6/97)
  • Chung Took Chinese Businessmen To The White House On Three Occasions That Week, Including For A Lunch With Then-First Lady Clinton. “During that week, Mr. Sun said, Mr. Chung took the Chinese businessmen to the White House on three occasions. In addition to the taping of the radio address, he brought them to a White House dining room for lunch, and to meet Mrs. Clinton, who posed for pictures with them.” (Stephen Labaton, “Aide To First Lady Was Given Check At White House,” The New York Times, 3/6/97)

Associates Of Chung “Said That He Used His Political Access To Cement Business Deals With Investors From China.” “Mr. Chung, who apparently told Miss Williams earlier in the Administration that he had wanted to give money to the Clintons personally, has sought to exploit his contributions and access for commercial gain. Associates of Mr. Chung have said that he used his political access to cement business deals with investors from China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, bringing them to White House events and fund-raisers. For instance, he arranged for a photograph of President Clinton and the First Lady with the chairman of a Chinese beer company. The photo has been used as an advertisement for the beer company in China.” (Stephen Labaton, “Aide To First Lady Was Given Check At White House,” The New York Times, 3/6/97)

Clinton’s 2008 Presidential Campaign Collected Cash From Those Involved In The Scandals Of Her First Lady Days

In Her 2008 Campaign, Clinton Bundlers Included  “Several Figures”  Who Were Involved In The 1990s Fundraising Scandal That “Tarnished” The Clinton Administration Record. “A list of the donors who have ‘bundled’ large sums from dozens of individuals to give to Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign includes several figures who were involved in the 1990s Democratic Party fundraising scandal that tarnished her husband’s record.” (John Solomon and Matthew Mosk, “Past Clouds Candidates’ Donor Lists,” The Washington Post, 9/20/07)

  • Clinton’s 2008 ‘Hillraisers’ Included “Several Financiers Linked To Past Troubles.” “Clinton includes on her list of ‘Hillraisers’ -- those who have committed to raising more than $100,000 for her White House bid -- several financiers linked to past troubles.” (John Solomon and Matthew Mosk, “Past Clouds Candidates’ Donor Lists,” The Washington Post, 9/20/07)

Clinton’s Bundlers Include Former DNC Fundraiser Marvin Rosen, Who Was Investigated For Rewarding Donors With White House Access. “[HillRaisers] include Marvin Rosen, the former Democratic National Committee finance chairman whose efforts to reward six-figure party donors with attendance at White House coffees and overnight stays in the Lincoln Bedroom became the focal point of Senate hearings into fundraising abuses.” (John Solomon and Matthew Mosk, “Past Clouds Candidates’ Donor Lists,” The Washington Post, 9/20/07)

William Price, Another Clinton Bundler, Was Connected To An Attempt To “Gain Influence” By Providing Extravagant Gifts To A Son Of A Clinton Cabinet Secretary. “William Stuart Price, the Oklahoma oilman also on the ‘Hillraiser’ list, stunned a courtroom in 1995 when he detailed how his former gas company had tried to ‘gain influence’ with the Clinton administration by providing $160,000 in money and membership in a ritzy Washington golf club to the son of a Cabinet secretary.” (John Solomon and Matthew Mosk, “Past Clouds Candidates’ Donor Lists,” The Washington Post, 9/20/07)

  • While Price Was Not Charged, His Former Bosses Were Convicted For Illegal Campaign Contributions. “Price, who was never accused of wrongdoing, did not return calls seeking comment. Price’s testimony became the focal point of a criminal investigation of Ron Brown, then commerce secretary and a former chairman of the Democratic Party. The inquiry ended with the conviction of Price’s former bosses, Nora and Gene Lum, for making illegal donations.” (John Solomon and Matthew Mosk, “Past Clouds Candidates’ Donor Lists,” The Washington Post, 9/20/07)

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