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When Judicial Watch uncovered John Huang and sought to depose him
during the fall of 1996, his flight from the U.S. marshals — who sought
to serve him with a subpoena — sparked Chinagate, potentially the
biggest scandal ever to hit our nation.

It was not long thereafter that House Speaker Newt Gingrich became
embroiled in ethics investigations, eventually pleading liable to
bringing discredit on Congress and agreeing to pay a $300,000 fine. And,
that was before we knew that Gingrich was messing around with an
employee of his own, who had worked for admittedly gay Congressman Steve
Gunderson. According to former Congressman Bob Dornan, Gunderson had
“squealed” to Barney Frank about the affair, and the two events –
Gingrich’s ethics problems and his infidelity, perhaps coupled with the
900 FBI files illegally obtained by the White House on Republicans –
allowed Democrats to blackmail Republican leadership into not
aggressively pursuing Chinagate, or any other Clinton scandal for that
matter.

Over in the esteemed and venerable Senate, the situation was much the
same. Fred Thompson’s Governmental Affairs Committee was rank with
conflict of interest and deceit. When Thompson sought to investigate
Chinagate, he was confronted not only with his own fundraising
peccadilloes — he had taken money from a Marxist adviser to Fidel
Castro, among other questionable sources — but four members of his
committee, Senators Nichols, Glenn, Levin and Toricelli, had also taken
funds generated by John Huang. Toricelli even reportedly had ties to the
Genovese crime family. Notwithstanding bachelor Thompson’s apparent
late night partying (he appeared at each day’s hearing looking hung
over), it is no wonder that the fundraising problems amongst his own
committee members kept them from accomplishing anything.

As Judicial Watch, then a rag-tag group of volunteers with a small
staff, proceeded to depose Commerce Department officials in the case
which yielded Huang’s testimony and then produced an affidavit from the
business partner and confidant of deceased Secretary Ron Brown, Nolanda
Hill, which revealed that Hillary Clinton, with the president’s and vice
president’s knowledge and consent, was the mastermind of Chinagate,
Congress essentially shut down its investigations. Instead of
Chinagate, it pursued the Lewinsky impeachment proceedings in the fall
of 1998.

Unsuccessfully, through the only Congressman who has ever been
serious about bringing the Clintons to justice — Representative Bob
Barr — Judicial Watch sought to have Chinagate (and Filegate) included
in impeachment, but this was shot down by Newt Gingrich and Henry Hyde.
In addition to Representative Bob Barr, the courageous Democrat
investigator, Dave Schippers, had pushed for their inclusion; knowing
that lying about an affair with an intern was not enough to bring
Clinton to justice.

When the Senate “deep sixed” impeachment with its “show trial,”
Republicans were revealed to be the gutless lot that their supporters
had come to suspect. Indeed, even the head of the Judiciary Committee,
Orrin Hatch, had suggested that Bill Clinton should have been let off
with a simple apology. Later, when it became increasingly apparent that
Janet Reno’s Justice Department was itself obstructing the Chinagate
investigation, Hatch could not even call for Reno’s resignation,
apparently out of fear that she could resurrect a probe of his reported
involvement in the BCCI banking scandal. When asked by Brit Hume of Fox
News why Hatch, as head of the Senate committee which oversees Justice,
had not called on Reno to step down, Hatch’s shameless response was “I
don’t like to ruin people’s careers,” meaning of course his own.

At the height of impeachment, the House Government Reform Committee,
chaired by Republican Dan Burton, had issued an interim report about his
stalled investigation of Chinagate. Unlike Judicial Watch’s interim
report, conspicuously absent from Burton’s, was a section on how Hillary
Clinton and the president and vice president had illegally masterminded
the sale of seats on Commerce Department trade missions for political
campaign contributions. It was on these trade missions, such as the ones
to China, that Huang cronies and high tech Silicon Valley businessmen
interacted with foreign agents and government ministries — eventually
leading to the transfer of American technology to enemy nations. For
instance, Bernard Schwartz of Loral went on the first China trade
mission and the company was later caught transferring damaging missile
and satellite technology to the Chinese (Judicial Watch has a suit
pending on this). This technology has advanced Chinese rocketry to the
point where it now threatens the United States. According to Judicial
Watch sources, Burton removed the section on trade missions from his
interim report, undoubtedly because it implicated several high tech
companies who had donated, and would continue to donate, to the
Republican Party as the 2000 elections neared.

Indeed, even the later-issued, and much “ballyhooed” Cox Report which
identified Chinese security breaches in our nation’s nuclear
laboratories, as well as confirming the role of Loral and Hughes
Corporation in transferring missile and satellite technology to the
communist nation, failed to recommend any enforcement action against
offending companies who participated on the trade missions and who had
participated in the breach of U.S. national security. The reason,
candidly admitted to Judicial Watch by Republican presidential candidate
John McCain, is that “the companies involved give heavily to my party as
well as the Democratic Party.”

With the “coming out of Johnny Chung,” a Chinagate fundraiser who
decided to cooperate with Judicial Watch and the media, some interest
was resurrected to try to show Republican rank and file — composed
mostly of conservatives — that the party had not totally abandoned
their interests. Not coincidentally, as conservatives complained about a
“do nothing” Congress, the Republican leadership apparently allowed
Chairman Burton, three years after Judicial Watch had first deposed John
Huang, to call him to testify. In the interim, Huang had received a
“slap on the wrist” plea bargain from the Clinton Justice Department,
with no jail time and only a vague offer to “cooperate.”

During the hearings — held over three days last week — only five
Republicans out of a Committee of 43 congressmen appeared to question
Huang and, true to form, not a single question was asked about the now
infamous trade missions which spawned the transfer of technology to the
Chinese and others. During the hearings, Huang — who was accompanied by
his lawyers from Hogan and Hartson, not coincidentally National Security
Advisor Sandy Berger’s “old law firm,” which also represents Chinese
interests and the Democratic National Committee — repeatedly developed
“amnesia” on key issues. Importantly, when Huang could remember, he
frequently contradicted his prior testimony to Judicial Watch. (This
will cause Judicial Watch to file a motion to have Huang held in
criminal contempt and to start other appropriate proceedings.) However,
it is clear that Chairman Burton and his House investigators got little
to anything from Huang. Their belated efforts seem more designed to
placate conservatives ready to abandon the Republican Party, as the
nation enters the 2000 elections, than to produce real results.

Indeed, this has been the sad history of the Republican Party; in
Clinton scandal after scandal its leaders believed that “show trials”
are more important than justice. But conservatives and other concerned
Americans cannot continue to be played for fools, and this time, with
the latest Huang charade, where only five Republicans out of a House
Committee of 43 showed up to question the principal actor in the biggest
scandal in U.S. history, their time may have run out.

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