By Michael Johnathan McDonald
Interim Report of the Committee on Government Reform
Campaign Finance Investigation and Related Matters
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House Report 105-829 Volume 1 of 4
House Report 105-829 Volume 2 of 4
House Report 105-829 Volume 3 of 4
House Report 105-829 Volume 4 of 4
Download and search the entire report(1,449kb) in Portable Document Format (PDF), including footnotes, but without exhibits.
Chapter I: Introduction
Chapter II: Unprecedented Obstacles to the Committee's Investigation
Chapter III: The Democrats' Failure to Return Illegal Campaign Contributions
I. THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE’S CONTRIBUTION REVIEW
Part A Burton interim
Apocalypse Nostradamus X.LXXII § MNIRX72-Burton_Interim
Chapter IV: Unprecedented Infusion of Foreign Money Into the American Political System
Part A: The Riady Family and John Huang: Access and Influence with the Clinton White House
Part B: Yah Lin "Charlie" Trie and His Relationship with the Clinton Administration
Part C: Johnny Chung: His Unusual Access to the White House and His Political Donations
Part D: The Sioeng Family's Contributions and Foreign Ties [ currently not linked, cannot find at this time]
Chapter V: The Failure of Government Agencies to Vigorously Pursue Campaign Violations [ currently not linked, cannot find at this time]
Part A: Jorge Castro's Illegal Campaign Contributions, and Why They Were Never Prosecuted
Part B: FEC Enforcement Practices and the Case Against Foreign National Thomas Kramer: Did Prominent DNC Fundraisers Receive Special Treatment?
Chapter VI: The Hudson Casino Rejection [currently not linked, cannot find at this time]
Chapter VII: Procedural Background of the Campaign Finance Investigation
In the closing months of the 1996 campaign, a multitude of campaign finance violations involving foreign money being funneled into the political system came to light. In the opening days of the 105th Congress, the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight as well as the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee were tasked with investigating potential campaign law violations.
By early 1997, the Democratic National Committee ("DNC") had returned close to $3 million in illegal contributions, much of the funds facilitated by individuals with extensive ties to the Peoples Republic of China ("PRC") namely, John Huang, Charlie Trie, and Johnny Chung. In February 1997, the Washington Post first reported a link between foreign campaign contributions and the Peoples Republic of China:
A Justice Department investigation into improper political fund-raising activities has uncovered evidence that representatives of the Peoples Republic of China sought to direct contributions from foreign sources to the Democratic National Committee before the 1996 presidential campaign.
Again in April 1997, the Washington Post reported that "top" Chinese officials approved plans "to attempt to buy influence with American politicians" and the plans continued through 1996 to the present.
Unlike the Senate investigation, the House investigation scope was not limited to the 1996 campaign. The Committee was able to examine a pattern of conduct which began in the 1992 campaign cycle with such key figures as DNC Finance Vice-Chairman John Huang as well as the Indonesian millionaire James Riady. Both were long time friends of President Clinton.
Because of the unprecedented lack of cooperation of witnesses, including 120 relevant individuals who either asserted Fifth Amendment privileges or fled the country, both the House and Senate investigations were severely hampered.
Because of the unprecedented lack of cooperation of witnesses, including 120 relevant individuals who either asserted Fifth Amendment privileges or fled the country, both the House and Senate investigations were severely hampered. In addition, the stalling tactics of the White House and the DNC, as well as the total lack of cooperation from foreign governments in obtaining bank records and relevant witnesses, limited the information available to the Committee. Nevertheless, both the House and Senate "followed the money" and uncovered extensive evidence of foreign money being funneled into campaigns and learned more about key individuals such as James Riady, John Huang, Charlie Trie, Antonio Pan, Johnny Chung, and Ted Sioeng. These individuals all had high level access to the Administration, including the President. They also had established ties to the PRC. Due to the lack of cooperation, many questions remain about their conduct and contacts with senior White House and DNC officials.
Throughout 1997, the House worked with the Senate investigation to the extent possible. The House investigation further developed information relating to the political and business contacts, as well as the source of the funds both here and abroad, of the above named individuals. In addition, the Committee is investigating foreign money from other fronts, including South America and funds from a German national. The Committee identified illegal funds contributed to the Clinton/Gore 96 campaign, as well as the DNC, undermining the Presidents November 1996 contention that it was the "other campaign" (the DNC), not his, which had problems with illegal money.
These investigations are still ongoing as the Committee continues to pursue witnesses and follow the money trail.
These investigations are still ongoing as the Committee continues to pursue witnesses and follow the money trail. This interim report reflects a work in progress, and numerous areas of the Committees investigation are not yet included because of the ongoing nature of the investigation. The House investigation has continued to review the contributions solicited by John Huang and Charlie Trie and has discovered still hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal and suspect funds in Democratic coffers that have not been returned. Hundreds of thousands of dollars more in contributions from the family of Ted Sioeng still havent been returned by the DNC. In investigating the background of the individuals involved with these illegal contributions the House Committee identified additional, extensive ties that the key fundraisers had with Asian sources and businesses.
In May 1998, the New York Times reported that Johnny Chung told federal investigators that he funneled tens of thousands of dollars from a Chinese military officer, Liu Chao-ying, to the Democrats during the 1996 campaign. Chung said the money came from the Peoples Liberation Army through Liu Chao-ying, a Chinese aerospace executive whose father was a senior Chinese military officer. The Committee developed extensive information regarding Chungs Chinese business contacts and activities.
The Committee continues to be hampered by the refusal of the Justice Department to provide immunity for low-level witnesses with relevant information which would allow the investigation to move forward or to aggressively push foreign governments to turn over information on bank records the Committee has traced to foreign sources. In a number of instances the Committee has identified witnesses previously unknown to the Justice Department.
In a number of instances the Committee has identified witnesses previously unknown to the Justice Department.
Finally, the failure of the Attorney General to follow the law and appoint an independent counsel for the entire campaign finance investigation has been the subject of two sets of committee hearings. FBI Director Louis Freeh and the Attorney Generals hand-picked Chief Prosecutor, Charles La Bella, wrote lengthy memos to the Attorney General advising her that she must appoint an Independent Counsel under the mandatory section of the Independent Counsel Statute. As part of the Committees oversight of the Justice Department, the Committee subpoenaed these memos, and held the Attorney General in contempt for not producing them or providing any legal basis for this refusal. Until an independent counsel is appointed in this matter, the American people cannot be assured that the same standards of justice will be applied to the President and Vice-President as apply to every other citizen. Nevertheless, the Committee continues to investigate and review the numerous outstanding matters that remain in carrying out its mandate.
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