Hsu Goes There?
Captain Ed comments on the newly-begun Justice Department investigation into the Norman Hsu affair. The WSJ says, "the U.S. Justice Department is investigating possible campaign-finance violations by top Democratic fundraiser Norman Hsu, according to people familiar with the probe. On Friday, Mr. Hsu surrendered to California officials on an unrelated grand-theft charge dating to the early 1990s." Ed says:
According to the Wall Street Journal, Hsu fled to China after his fraud conviction. Records show him working for a Hong Kong exporter for the two years after jumping bail. If Hsu turns out to have gotten his funds from international sources hostile to the US, giving the money to charity will do little to restore reputations.
If the DoJ finds a foreign source for those funds, Hsu's sentencing will take a back seat to the sentence of the American people on those who took his money without checking him out. This could get very ugly for the Democrats.
Gateway Pundit goes over the old Clinton-China connections. One of the points he makes is that Norman Hsu has history going back to investigations into the Chinese spy ring allegations against Clinton. But if you follow the link, it's peripheral. The ping off Hsu is a transitory image of something just on the edge of the sensors, a link to Sioeng San Wong who was more in the focus. The question of just who Norman Hsu is, or represents, is still undefined.
But Doug Ross makes the more telling point that the spin is already starting. "The Politico's Ben Smith has transformed himself into a world-class dissembler with his latest defense of the Clintons". Ben Smith says the spinmasters are "attempting to revive the — never proven — allegations of a Chinese 'spy ring' buying its way into the 1996 Clinton campaign."
And that's exactly where the Norman Hsu affair will end up unless real investigative resources are thrown at it. Another one of those "unproven allegations" that China -- or someone -- was trying to influence the US Presidential campaign. Sometimes I think Hsu's incredible $2 million bail bond sends the signal that "here be dragons". Get mixed up in this and you will meet the big boys. Are you ready for that?
Sweetness and Light has an extensive quote from the Wall Street Journal's attempt to discover just who Hsu is. Yesterday, an NYT story said its reporters failed to find any concrete evidence of his garment businessness at their address. People vaguely remember seeing Hsu, but no one quite knows what he does. Even in the Wall Street Journal piece, Hsu comes across as a man smiling at the limit of a cocktail party circle.
“He was involved in the fashion business,” said Bob Kerrey, a former Nebraska senator who is president of the New School in Manhattan, where Mr. Hsu resigned as a trustee yesterday. “I know that he designs and sells clothing.” ...
In 1990, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that a group of Chinatown gang leaders had been arrested for kidnapping Mr. Hsu. The article said the alleged kidnappers were stopped after speeding through a red light, and Mr. Hsu took the opportunity to tell police he was being kidnapped. The article said he owned a restaurant and clothing businesses throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Mr. Hsu’s reputation in New York was far different from the one he left behind in California. In 2004, he began circulating among Democratic donors at fundraisers, and became a huge “bundler” — somebody who collects myriad checks from networks of friends, family and business acquaintances for political campaigns.
“I like him a lot,” Mr. Kerrey said. “He’s one of these guys in politics who gives and doesn’t ask for anything.” …
At the risk of straying into tinfoil hat territory, I am tempted to guess that much that is seemingly inexplicable about Washington politics can be explained by the struggle over the control of the Justice Department: the Clinton's mass firing of US Attorneys; Bush's attempts to install Gonzales and men loyal to him in it; the campaign against Gonzales. The vast struggle swirling around it may be because the Justice Department is strategic high ground when the name of the game is covering your tracks.
And with Gonzales out, the next Attorney General will have to be confirmed by the Senate. With Bush a lame duck and Hillary the front-runner, anyone charged with leading the investigation into Hsu must ask himself: what the heck is out there? And how much backup will I have when I run into it? Captain Ed's final comment is:
The LAT quotes "aides to Clinton" as saying that Hsu never asked any favors and just liked having his picture taken with politicians. Uh, riiiiiiiiiight. And he committed the latex-glove fraud because he likes shaking hands with doctors. I suspect the FBI may have more information on whether Hsu asked for a favor or two every hundred thousand dollars by the time they complete their investigation.
If they complete it.