House Committees Take Aim at Finance-Scandal Specifics

By Seper, Jerry | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), January 31, 1997 | Go to article overview

House Committees Take Aim at Finance-Scandal Specifics


Seper, Jerry, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


At least three House committees have begun to focus on specific aspects of a growing scandal involving foreign-linked campaign contributions, with critical documents being demanded and rules on who can be involved in the records search being outlined.

Rep. Dan Burton, Indiana Republican and chairman of the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee, asked President Clinton to remove Deputy Counsel Bruce Lindsey - his most trusted adviser - as the official in charge of gathering White House records in the probe.

Citing a potential conflict of interest, Mr. Burton questioned Mr. Lindsey's role in collecting records on meetings he may have attended, noting he was at a May 1996 session at which administration officials discussed whether to return hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions to the president's legal-defense fund.

The money had been delivered in March 1996 by Arkansas businessman Charles Yah Lin Trie.

Mr. Burton also noted that contrary to White House claims, Mr. Lindsey knew in 1994 that the Lippo Group, now at the center of the campaign-finance scandal, put Webster L. Hubbell on its payroll after he quit the Justice Department in disgrace. He also said Mr. Lindsey attended a 1995 White House meeting with the president, Lippo executive James Riady and John Huang, former Lippo official, DNC fund raiser and Commerce Department deputy assistant secretary.

At that meeting, Mr. Huang asked for, and got, a transfer from Commerce to the DNC. He said Mr. Lindsey also made the decision to characterize meetings among Mr. Clinton, Mr. Riady and Mr. Huang before the Nov. 5 general election as "social calls" - despite the fact they talked about U.S. trade policy.

Rep. Gerald B. H. Solomon, New York Republican and chairman of the House Rules Committee, asked Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright for information and records showing how Grigori Loutchansky, a White House visitor and head of a firm identified as tied to Russian criminal activity, got a visa to visit the United States.

Mr. Solomon wants information on where and when the visa was issued, what cities he visited in addition to Washington, whether he was interviewed prior to the visa's approval, and whether any questions were raised about its appropriateness. …

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