|For Immediate Release
Feb 1, 2001
|Contact: Press Office
Rushed Voice Vote and Absence of Questioning at Confirmation Hearing Reveals Senators’ Complacency on Corruption
(Washington, DC) Judicial Watch, the public interest law firm that investigates an prosecutes government corruption, said today that the U.S. Senate’s unanimous voice vote on January 29th in favor of Ms. Elaine Chao as the Bush Administration’s Labor Secretary sends the wrong message to the American public.
Judicial Watch provided each of the senators on the Senate Labor Committee with a letter detailing how Labor Secretary-designate Elaine Chao not only had asked Chinese agent John Huang for campaign contributions for former Senator Alfonse D’’Amato, but that her husband, Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), had also received contributions from John Huang and his company, Lippo Group, which comprises mega-banking and other interests. In a deposition of November 6, 2000, one day before the Presidential election, John Huang revealed that the money which he donated to McConnell, D’Amato and others was illegally laundered from overseas bank accounts. When asked if he had donated more than $2,000 to McConnell during the 1990's, John Huang took the Fifth Amendment and was held in contempt by the Magistrate Judge. He could face significant jail time for this and 139 other contempt citations. Not a single senator had the courage to ask Ms. Chao a question concerning her ties to convicted felon Huang.
“That the U.S. Senate would unanimously approve a cabinet secretary without examining her relationship with a felonious fundraiser and influence peddler is a national disgrace,” declared Judicial Watch Chairman Larry Klayman.