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 For Immediate Release
Mar 9, 1999 Contact: Press Office



Judicial Watch Case Uncovered Security Lapses at Clinton Commerce Department

Chinagate Figure John Huang to Be Questioned Again by Judicial Watch

With reports that the Clinton Administration refused to take quick action to prevent China from acquiring United States nuclear secrets, Judicial Watch called attention today to security lapses at the Clinton Commerce Department, the former home of Clinton fundraiser and suspected Chinese spy John Huang.

Judicial Watch uncovered John Huang and sparked the Chinagate scandal in 1996 when it deposed Huang in its case against the Clinton Commerce Department about the sale of trade mission seats in exchange for campaign contributions. One of these infamous trade missions went to China in 1994 and involved almost all the key actors in the Chinagate scandal, including Huang, Johnny Chung, Charlie Trie, and Loral’s Bernie Schwartz. Also on that China trip were representatives of the U.S. nuclear and energy industry, such as Clinton donor Entergy Corp.

Documents relating to these trade missions were shredded, destroyed, disappeared, and otherwise left the Commerce Department. Judicial Watch also discovered that satellite encryption data and classified CIA reports on China, Russia, and India improperly left the Commerce Department with Ira Sockowitz, a confidante of John Huang. And, astonishingly, another Commerce official, William Ginsberg (the late Ron Brown’s former chief of staff) was keeping, according to the Clinton Commerce Department, "state secrets" in his personal diaries. These "state secrets" included information on satellite surveillance, intelligence personnel and capabilities, and notes of a meeting of the National Security Council on an unnamed foreign country, among other "national security" information.

Echoing the lack of Clinton Administration interest in security breaches at the Department of Energy, there has yet to be any substantive investigation by the Justice Department or the Commerce Department of these serious security breaches. In a recent Judicial Watch deposition of Donald Forest, head of Commerce’s China Desk, testimony indicated that there has been no change in security procedures related to classified materials -- despite the experience of John Huang and Ira Sockowitz. John Huang will be redeposed by Judicial Watch in April.

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