WASHINGTON -- It has happened again. This past Monday at 6:40 PM, just as the network news programs were getting under way, the Clinton presidential campaign released some disturbing news. It will return $850,000 of donations raised for it by recent fugitive and convicted felon Norman Hsu. For the last three years Hsu had been a major Clinton donor. On August 29, the Clintons employed the same maneuver. Then, just as the network news programs were reporting the day's news, the Clinton campaign announced that it would donate to charity $23,000 of campaign donations linked to the suddenly exposed Hsu. Well, at the time I suggested that Hsu was responsible for a lot more than $23,000 of Clinton donations, and again I heard the Bronx cheers from the Clintonistas. So now they admit the figure approaches a cool million.
I would not expect the Clintonistas to wisen up and recognize the Clintons for the ethically insouciant couple that they are. Yet when will the press recognize this, and when will the press get tired of being manipulated? Now that the Clintons are admitting to a much larger campaign fraud than two weeks ago, will they release the names of those who donated the $850,000? Will the press demand it? Earlier reports in the Wall Street Journal made it pretty clear that some of Hsu's orchestrated donors could not possibly afford the donations they have made. So who are the others? Equally important, how did Hsu and his friends come up with all that money? When he returned to California to address the 1991 felony conviction that he had skipped out on, he put up a $2 million bond. Where did that money come?
Late last winter when the Clinton presidential campaign was getting under way, a New York Times writer interviewed me about Senator Clinton's prospects with those who have been critical of her in years past. His thesis was that they had tired of criticizing her and would be relatively inert. My answer to him was that Senator Clinton would continue to rouse critics because the Clintons inveterately do things that run the gamut from being shady to being illegal. They act as though they are above the law. That rouses critics.
Since then reports have accumulated naming some of the ethically-challenged patrons in their camp. There is the spectacular Hsu, and such picturesque figures as William Paw and his son, Winkle Paw, middle class Americans of murky Asian ancestry who suddenly had hundreds of thousands to contribute. There is Vinod Gupta, CEO of InfoUSA who after donating millions to various Clinton campaigns was unceremoniously removed from the Clinton campaign after it was reported that his company was being investigated for questionable dealings with the elderly. There is the founder of the Bombay Palaces restaurant chain, Sant S. Chatwal. He has raised millions of dollars for Senator Clinton's campaigns while facing bank fraud charges in India and contending with bankruptcy and tax liens amounting to millions of dollars on two continents.
In its late-afternoon announcement this week, the Clinton campaign promised to run criminal background checks on those who raise large amounts for it. Well, I suggest also scrutinizing those Bill raises money from too. Three years ago at the Tavern on the Green, Bill served as pitchman for a little known Internet search engine founded by Marc Armand Rousso. Rousso is a former promoter of penny stocks who in the late 1990s pleaded guilty to stock fraud in the United States and was convicted of similar fraud in France.
No family in public life has so long a record of misbehavior as the Clintons. Often they get caught red-handed. Their record began in Arkansas and has continued on the national scene. The Clintons, according to anonymous Democratic sources, were warned about Hsu but took the money anyway. Back in Arkansas, every gubernatorial campaign Bill Clinton ran was surrounded by either questionable donations or questionable bank loans or both. His two presidential campaigns featured illegal campaign donations, often from shadowy Asian fellows just like Hsu. Doubtless this behavior will continue.
Along with campaign finance violations there are the Clintons' other scrapes with the law -- all go back to Arkansas and will continue as long as they are in public life. The Democrats could save themselves a lot of disappointments by finding a cleaner presidential nominee than Hillary. The press cannot be manipulated forever, can it?
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