U.S. Security in the Money Bag?

Article excerpt

The spidery web of moral scandal, campaign corruption and perjury that has hopelessly snared Bill Clinton, his administration and his party grows stickier and more deadly with each passing day.

The more he struggles to break free of the judicial and law enforcement forces encircling him, the more he seems to become trapped in a web of his own making. Special Counsel Ken Starr is getting closer to making his case that the president did not tell the truth when he denied under oath he had a sexual relationship with a 21-year-old White House intern. He is being sued for sexual harassment. His wife Hillary is being probed for her role in the systematic looting of an Arkansas bank that has cost taxpayers $60 million. Nearly half of the president's Cabinet has come under criminal investigation. And his Justice Department is investigating the White House for campaign finance wrongdoing. And that's only half of it.

The latest bombshell to strike his presidency is the stunning disclosure that a communist Chinese government official, who runs a state-owned aerospace firm, gave $300,000 to Clinton crony Johnny Chung who gave the money to the Democrats in the 1996 elections.

The source of the disclosure is Mr. Chung himself, a well-connected, fat cat, Democratic moneyman who visted the White House 49 times between 1994 and 1996 and who gave $366,000 to the Democratic National Committee for Mr. Clinton's re-election. He has admitted he gave illegal contributions to the DNC and is cooperating with Justice Department prosecutors who have since widened their ongoing investigation into the Clinton campaign finance scandal.

Mr. Chung has told them he received large sums of money in 1966 from Liu Chao-Ying who is a top executive for China Aerospace, a rocket manufacturer for China, and an officer in the People's Liberation Army.

The disclosure is a big breakthrough in the 18-month-old investigation, because for the first time someone has shown a paper trail of illegal campaign money from China to the United States that was intended to influence our elections. This was the story that Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward first broke and that Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson dug into before he was forced to end his hearings in December because of a one-year deadline that recalcitrant Democrats had demanded.

Democratic Sen. John Glenn of Ohio, who insisted the White House and his party did nothing wrong, has not had much to say since the Chung story broke. He maintained throughout the hearings that the China connection was largely unproven - despite intelligence materials shared with committee members behind closed doors that showed there was an effort by China to influence our elections by large, well-placed donations. …