MARCH 20, 2008
While a great deal of Hillary Clinton’s newly released First Lady schedule features mystery private meetings, documents from 1996 clearly show her participating in a lot of fundraising events including the scandalous White House coffees used for illegal campaign fundraising.
Throughout that year and parts of 1995, Clinton hosted White House coffees to raise cash for her husband’s reelection campaign. The events are marked CG for Clinton-Gore and appear often in the records, which were recently made public thanks to a Judicial Watch lawsuit.
The documents illustrate the former First Lady’s deep involvement in political fundraising and shed light on her role as hostess of more than 90 White House coffees for about 1,000 major contributors. Some Democratic fundraisers explicitly sold invitations—for $50,000 to $100,000— to the well-publicized events with the president, vice president and their respective wives.
The coffees helped Democrats raise nearly $30 million and were largely associated with the notorious campaign finance abuses of the Clinton presidency. One infamous java sipper, Johnny Chung, delivered $50,000 directly to the First Lady’s chief of staff at the White House even though federal law bars officials from receiving political donations on government property.
Clinton’s calendar omits the fact that she took a picture in the White House with Chung on the day he delivered the $50,000 to Maggie Williams, who currently runs her presidential campaign. Chung eventually pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations and admitted that a big chunk of his contributions actually came from a Chinese military operative.
The records indicate that the First Lady had an “official photo” session in the Map room but the name of the person she had her picture taken with was deleted on grounds that it would be an “unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.” A few minutes later Clinton had another photo session yet the subject’s name—astronaut Eileen Collins—is included in the records
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