August 30th, 2007
09:02 AM ET
10 years ago

Clinton to donate contributions from fugitive fundraiser

New York Sen. Hillary Clinton out on the campaign trail.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - New York Sen. Hillary Clinton will return $23,000 in donations from a fundraiser who has an outstanding arrest warrant in California.

Norman Hsu, a well-connected Democratic fundraiser, has come under scrutiny in recent days after news reports called into question some of his fundraising and also revealed a criminal record.

The Wall Street Journal reported recently that six members of the family of a San Francisco mail carrier have donated a total of $45,000 to Clinton since 2005. The Journal also reported that those donations closely track donations made by Hsu. Then, the Los Angeles Times reported that Hsu is wanted on an outstanding arrest warrant because he failed to appear for sentencing in a criminal case in which he had pleaded no contest to a single felony count of grand theft in 1991.

Several Democratic candidates across the country have decided to purge their campaigns of Hsu's contributions in light of these revelations. Comedian Al Franken, a U.S. Senate candidate in Minnesota; Rep. Michael Honda of California; and Rep. Joe Sestak of Pennsylvania have all said they would return contributions from Hsu.

"In light of the new information regarding Mr. Hsu's outstanding warrant in California, we will be giving his contributions to charity," said Clinton spokesman Phil Singer.

In a statement issued Wednesday, Hsu said he was "surprised to learn that there appears to be an outstanding warrant - as demonstrated by the fact that I have and do live a public life." In the statement, Hsu added, "I have not sought to evade any obligations and certainly not the law."

On Tuesday, Hsu's attorney disputed any suggestion that his client had improperly directed contributions.

–CNN's Paul Steinhauser and Martina Stewart

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (111 Responses)
  1. Will Rodgers, Denver, CO

    I believe that this is a Republican dirty trick. Getting someone dirty to plegde money to a leading Dem and then turn them in. Sound familiar?

    August 30, 2007 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  2. Bryan, Ft Benning, GA

    Here we go again, everyone wanting to bash the Clintons. If that is all you all have to do, then you have problems. Why can't you all find something else to complain about, like the war in Iraq. Why are we still there? Leave the Clintons alone and let them win the election.

    August 30, 2007 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  3. John

    You would think that someone as smart as Hillary Clinton would have learned from the many issues that hounded her husband with fund raising. I know the GOP would love to face her but its time for a new change in Washington and this is why I'm voting for Edwards.

    August 30, 2007 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  4. Ralph, San Deigo, CA

    It is no surprise that the Clinton News Network didn’t post this story on their home page. Instead we see a disgraced senator from Idaho, who no one cares about as the top story. Come on CNN. Let’s see… A senator that no one has ever heard of is accused of soliciting sex in a public restroom or the front running Democratic candidate for President of the United States has accepted campaign contributions from a KNOWN and wanted criminal. Which is a bigger story? As if she and her campaign management had not idea that Mr. Hsu was a criminal or that he had contributed to her campaign. But what else can we expect from such a biased news organization. With access to so much news available at our fingertips it just amazes me that CNN just doesn’t get it. Hello, there are other networks and other means for us to get the TRUTH. If Hillary wins the Democratic nomination, Republicans and independents alike will turnout in droves to vote against her. Your added bias only hurts not helps her campaign.

    August 30, 2007 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  5. Breana, Gilbert AZ

    I'm not exactly sure on all of Hilary's backround because I'm not much of a politics person and I only really read news from this site once a week for current events(for school), but I must admit that I find Hilary an amazing person from what I do know about her, and generous to donate that money. Although, I would like to know where she's donating it, but I'm sure CNN will cover that soon. And, although I can't vote yet, I do hope she wins the election. Go Hilary!!!

    August 30, 2007 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  6. Randall- Raleigh, N.C.

    Democrats are practicing good ethics by returing those contributions...something the American people have not seen...with Republicans in office. And yes ethics and morals are related by the way. (congress needed ethics training just a few years back).

    August 31, 2007 05:58 am at 5:58 am |
  7. Chuck, Council Bluffs, Iowa

    I can't believe CNN and the other major news networks try to deny their liberal bias. Here is a candidate for president accepting illegal campaign contributions and they treat it as a non-event because it might reflect poorly on their agenda. Any guess how this might have been treated in the media if Mitt Romney accepted an illegal donation? I doubt whether the headline would have read that he donated the money to charity, and I also doubt that it would get buried at the bottom of the news ticker.

    August 31, 2007 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  8. Pause for the Cause, Greenville

    Tom of Dedham,

    You forgot...

    First president to be disbarred.

    Add that with Hillary failing the bar exam in D.C. (but passing it in Arkansas) and you see why they are politicians. The only job a lawyer can hold when they can practice their own profession. Of, course, she did pass her bar exam (in Arkansas) but how many people would hire her to be their lawyer given that fact?

    August 31, 2007 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  9. Christian, Providence, RI

    I agree with Michael. Think about it, who has the expirience to really get the job done? Obama??? NOT! I like him but he is still WAAAAAAAY to junior to even think about this job. Think about what she is up against in terms of being the only woman running. Wasn't it "G dubbya" that said he would bring back dignity and honor? Look what he has accomplished and how BADLY this Administration has hurt the reputation of this GREAT country! I give Hillary credit and I trust and am behind her 110%!!!

    August 31, 2007 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  10. Wndrtch

    I wonder why she opted to "donate" the money, instead of returning it to it's rightful owners. Hsu is a "fundraiser", which means he got the money from others. I wonder who THEY are? If she "donates" the money to charity, does that mean she won't have to disclose the origional donors?

    I don't think all the rats have jumped ship yet...

    September 5, 2007 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  11. Carl Hubbard, Hamilton Ohio

    Who are the rest of the politicians who benefitted from this.
    It just breaks your hearts that you are going to have to live under a real class act, president for the nest eight years.
    Now you can see what us people who can think for ourselves have have been experiencing under thes two Dictator types have been going through for the last six and a half yrs.
    I say Get I done, Hillery.

    September 9, 2007 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
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