Clinton hints donors can contribute again
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, whose campaign is returning $850,000 in contributions linked to disgraced fundraiser Norman Hsu, indicated...
The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, whose campaign is returning $850,000 in contributions linked to disgraced fundraiser Norman Hsu, indicated Wednesday that donors who contributed that money could donate to her presidential campaign once again.
"We're not asking that that be done," she said. "But I believe that the vast majority of those 200-plus donors are perfectly capable of making up their own minds about what they will or won't do going forward."
Clinton's remarks were her first public comments on the effect Hsu's unraveling fortunes have had on her presidential campaign. Hsu was a leading money "bundler" for Clinton, earning the title of "HillRaiser" for his fundraising activities.
"It was very difficult for us to make any decision other than returning the contributions," she said.
Hsu, unknown in political circles until about four years ago, was booked into the Mesa County jail in Colorado late Wednesday after leaving a hospital where he has been since failing to show up for a bail hearing last week in California. He had been wanted as a fugitive for missing his sentencing on a grand-theft case to which he had pleaded no contest.
He was booked on an outstanding-warrant charge from California, sheriff's officials said. A hearing was scheduled for today.
In the past two weeks, news reports raised questions about his fundraising practices and divulged his fugitive status. Law-enforcement authorities said the FBI is investigating whether Hsu paid donors to contribute to politicians. His lawyer has said Hsu did not break the law and donors he solicited contributed their own money.
In New York, meanwhile, prosecutors are investigating whether Hsu stole millions of dollars from an investment fund. A spokeswoman for the Manhattan District Attorney said Wednesday that lawyers for the fund, Source Financing Investors, referred the matter to her office last week.
Hsu raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Democratic candidates and groups until his 1992 theft conviction, to which he pleaded no contest, became known. Many of those candidates, including Clinton, have announced plans to return or donate to charity Hsu's election contributions.
He spent 15 years on the lam, until he surrendered to authorities in California on Aug. 31.
Prosecutors say Hsu bilked investors of $1 million by telling them he had a contract to buy and sell latex gloves, but he never purchased the gloves and had no contract to sell them.
Material from The Wall Street Journal is included in this report.
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