International straw donors

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If you're up to speed with the illegal laundering of campaign contributions here in Oklahoma (if not, Google "Gene Stipe" at the McCarville Report), you need to catch up on a much bigger money laundry at the Federal level, benefitting Hillary Clinton and other Democrats. From the New York Times:

At the center of the ever-deepening mystery of Norman Hsu, the fugitive fund-raiser who was captured after a brief flight from the law last week, is the question of how he evolved from a bankrupt swindler in 1992 to a wealthy donor to many Democratic candidates, and a bundler of campaign contributions to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2007.

A review of financial records for one of Mr. Hsu's companies begins to shed light on some of his recent activities, including his dealings with a circle of campaign contributors that has fallen under suspicion since news of Mr. Hsu's criminal past, murky business interests and unexplained riches rocked the Democratic Party.

The records show that Components Ltd., a company controlled by Mr. Hsu that has no obvious business purpose and appears to exist only on paper, has paid a total of more than $100,000 to at least nine people who made campaign contributions to Mrs. Clinton and others through Mr. Hsu. The payments occurred in the spring of 2003, several months before Mr. Hsu emerged as a contributor to Democrats and more than a year before he started bundling checks from those same people for various campaigns. In all, he has raised more than $1 million for Democrats.

Those payments, found in a single month's bank statement, hints at the possibility that ultimately all the money these donors contributed was matched by payments from Components Ltd. The question then becomes, where did someone like Hsu, who went bankrupt in the US in 1992 and again in Hong Kong in the 1998 get the money to become a major donor and, possibly, a major straw donor.

This is deja vu for those of us who remember when China used straw donors to funnel money to Democratic candidates back in the mid '90s. Of course, the investigation back during the Clinton Administration wasn't allowed to be as thorough as it should have been.

Disputing Reno's oft-quoted assertions of a vigorous investigation, FBI agent Daniel Wehr told the committee that the initial lead attorney in the inquiry, Laura Ingersoll, told the agents they should ''not pursue any matter related to solicitation of funds for access to the president. The reason given was, 'That's the way the American political process works.' I was scandalized by that.''

Hat tip to Wizbang.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on September 9, 2007 2:02 PM.

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