MAY 13, 2009
This week federal jurors heard the nation’s Secretary of State praise a criminally convicted Chinese fundraiser who donated nearly $1 million to her political campaign while he was a fugitive from U.S. justice.
Hillary Clinton repeatedly thanked admitted swindler Norman Hsu for his support of her failed presidential campaign, telling him that she’s never seen anybody who has been more loyal and more effective. The former New York Senator admired the felon in a voicemail recording presented as evidence in Manhattan Federal Court this week.
The minute-long audio, available on a network television news site, was among the first exhibits prosecutors played for jurors on the opening day of Hsu’s trial for campaign finance violations. The popular Democratic donor pleaded guilty earlier this month to swindling investors out of $20 million by touting his inside access to party leaders like Clinton, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson and California Senator Dianne Feinstein.
For more than 15 years Hsu was a fugitive from U.S. justice to avoid prison for felony grand theft for defrauding investors with a bogus investment scam in the early 1990s. During his fugitive years Democrats—especially Clinton—gladly accepted Hsu’s lucrative donations which he often bundled illegally from fictitious people to exceed federal contribution limits.
Although Clinton had been repeatedly warned that Hsu ran an illegal enterprise, she took his money and proudly crowned him a “HillRaiser” because he pledged to raise at least $100,000 for her 2008 presidential campaign. When the media finally exposed Hsu’s storied life, Clinton reluctantly and under public pressure returned more than $800,000 that Hsu had raised for presidential campaign.
The former First Lady subsequently tried to disassociate herself with the shady Hong Kong fundraiser, but the recordings played in court this week illustrate her strong ties to him. Clinton tells Hsu that she predicts a victory in the presidential campaign and that she would win the race because he would “single-handedly…..make that happen.” She further praises him for working hard for her and says she’s never seen anybody who has been more loyal and more effective.
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