Monday, September 10, 2007

What was Hsu's agenda?

Sen. Clinton's campaign has decided to return $850,000 in donations associated with Norman Hsu. While Mr. Hsu has some interesting associates, we still don't have answers to the key questions: where was his money coming from and what was he expecting his contributions to buy? The importance of these questions is illustrated by what we know now about the similar prior scandals. As John Fund writes, the head of Chinese military intelligence provided funding in 1996 for the purpose of influencing the election in the favor of Democrats:
A 1998 Senate Government Affairs Committee report on the scandal found "strong circumstantial evidence" that a great deal of foreign money had illegally entered the country in an attempt to influence the 1996 election. Johnny Chung, a bagman for the Asian billionaire Riady family, confessed that at least $35,000 of his donations to the Clinton campaign and the DNC had come from a Chinese aerospace executive--a lieutenant colonel in the Chinese military who he said helped Mr. Chung meet three times with General Ji Shengde, the head of Chinese military intelligence. Mr. Chung testified that Gen. Shengde had told him, "We like your president very much. We would like to see him re-elected. I will give you $300,000 U.S.. You can give it to the president and the Democratic Party."
Norman Hsu's agenda remains unknown.

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