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Hillary was warned about Hsu; Update: Clinton campaign wants to re-purpose the dirty money

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By Michelle Malkin  •  September 12, 2007 07:33 AM

Update: Un-freaking-believable…

The campaign is refunding $850,000 to [Hsu’s bundled] donors, viewing the money as tainted. Yet the campaign is also risking another public relations mess by saying that it would take back the money if it clearly came from the donor’s bank account, not from Mr. Hsu or another source. The risk is that Mrs. Clinton will appear to want more cash no matter whether it was once colored by a disgraced donor.

The campaign will try to get most of the donors to give the money back right after the refunds, said a senior Democratic strategist who advises Mrs. Clinton’s campaign. “That’s the plan,” the strategist said.

See-Dubya follows the tainted rinse-and-spin cycle:

If the worry is that Hsu was using at least some of these people as fronts so that he could exceed the federal limits on how much he could donate to Hillary, then how will the money be any less tainted if they re-gift it to her? I.e., if Hsu cuts John Doe a check for $100,000 and asks him to spread it around among Democrats A-Z, then giving that money back to John so that he can give it right back to you doesn’t “cleanse” it. It’s Hsu’s money; John never should have had it in the first place. If you donate the money to charity and then hit John up for a donation from his own bank account, that’s fine. But that ain’t what she’s planning to do. Exit question: Why not at least wait until the DOJ investigation of Hsu’s bundled donations is over so you know which donors are clean and which aren’t?

Answer: Because they don’t care.

***

hillpoint21.jpg
No plausible deniability.

I got an e-mail from a law enforcement source this week wondering how Hillary Clinton could possibly have been ignorant of Norman Hsu’s shenanigans given that both she and her husband are protected by Secret Service:

Hsu as a key Dem fundraiser had access to VIP among the Dem party like the Clintons. Both Mr. and Mrs. Clinton are protected by the Secret Service. SOP for law enforcement protection details is to check the criminal background of those who might come in contact with the protectees.

As you probably are already aware, it is well known that usually the Secret Service asks for, at a minimum, full legal name, DOB and SSN of those who get anywhere near/attend events with, SS protectees, so they can run a record check. (FYI the Secret Service record check is, ‘unofficially’, considered one of the most extensive that can be done by US law enforcement.)

So if the Secret Service knew for years that Hsu was a wanted FUGITIVE why did they:

1. Not do anything?

2. Allow him anywhere near any important (high value) targets like either of the Clintons?

Alternatively, if the SS did not do its basic ‘due diligence’ check then the questions are even more pointed:

1. Why not? Who ordered them not to do it, and why? (What did the Clinton’s know and when did they know it?)

2. Was the Clinton (and by extension the Democrat fundraising machine) so focused on money that they would violate basic security protacal… letting a wanted, fugitive, felon (of questionable background — from part of the world where their are many hostile to US governmental interests) get into the “inner circle” simply because of the cash?

My source’s suspicions are on target. And a new story out today by the NYDailyNews underscores them:

Hillary Clinton’s campaign couldn’t explain yesterday why it blew off warnings about felon-turned-fund-raiser Norman Hsu – and the Daily News learned FBI agents are collecting e-mail evidence in the widening scandal.

Clinton was forced Monday to give back a whopping $850,000 raised by convicted scam artist Hsu after learning his investment ventures were being probed by the FBI as a potential Ponzi scheme.

She earlier gave to charity $23,000 Hsu donated himself after reports revealed he fled sentencing for a $1 million scam in California in 1992.

Yesterday, the campaign insisted it did all it should to vet Hsu after California businessman Jack Cassidy warned in June that Hsu’s investment operation was fishy. Cassidy e-mailed his tips to the California Democratic Party, which forwarded them to the Clinton campaign.

Cassidy did not want to talk about the case, saying he doesn’t want to jeopardize the FBI’s efforts. But he wants Hsu prosecuted. He told The News that Hsu was a reverse Robin Hood – “a hood robbin’ the poor to give to the rich.”

His warning “prompted a search of publicly available information, which did not reveal Mr. Hsu’s decade-plus-old warrant,” said Clinton adviser Howard Wolfson. He would not say why the campaign didn’t follow up on specifics Cassidy included to explain his suspicions.

“They knew [about Hsu], and they knew back in June,” a source told The News.

The WSJ has followed the money trail…to a financier of the Woodstock festival.
See-Dubya digs deeper. And Judicial Watch is now on the case:

Longtime Clinton foe Judicial Watch signaled it will join G-men and journalists on Hsu’s trail and try to pressure the Justice Department and Senate Ethics Committee to take action.

“Were they knowingly benefiting from illegal straw donor contributions? Were they put on notice?” asked Tom Fitton, president of the conservative watchdog group.

Hill’s people play CYA in this WaPo piece.

Meantime, Hillary says she’s returning $850,000. Don’t trust. Verify.

Investigative blogger Flip Pidot runs the numbers again and lays out the next step:

The next best step toward cleaning up this mess would be for the campaign to release the list of all 260 Hsu-associated contributors so we can help Senator Clinton’s less forthcoming colleagues tabulate their own refunds owed.

Let’s cough it up, Hill, shall we?

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