September 11th, 2007
02:09 PM ET
16 years ago

Clinton fundraiser found in 'fetal position' on train

The Clinton campaign said Monday that it will return money solicited by Norman Hsu from more than 250 donors.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A day after Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign announced it was returning $850,000 raised by fugitive fundraiser Norman Hsu, new details have emerged about his capture last week, according to reports from The Wall Street Journal.

The disgraced Democratic fundraiser, who is under investigation for investment fraud in the 1990's, failed to appear in court last Wednesday. He was later found on an Amtrak train headed for Chicago.

The Wall Street Journal reported on its Web site Monday night and in the newspaper’s print edition Tuesday, that it was not a pleasant trip for Hsu.

Another passenger, Joanne Segale, tells the newspaper she noticed several items spill out of his sleeping cabin, and when she peeked through the window and "saw a man who appeared to be in fetal position, bare-chested."

"It appeared this person had fallen out of bed," she told Journal.

A crowbar was needed to open the Hsu’s cabin where he was found on the ground and unable to walk, the Journal reported.

Segale also told the newspaper she noticed "lots and lots of medication in that room. I could see pills on the floor and rolling around."

Hsu was taken to a Colorado hospital and then taken into custody by the FBI.

Hsu has also given to other Democratic candidates, including Clinton's chief rival for the Democratic nomination, Sen. Barack Obama.

UPDATE: Democratic National Committee spokeswoman Karen Finney tells CNN's Shirley Zilberstein the DNC is now re-vetting those contributions that were raised for the committee by Hsu between 2004-2007 and verifying them with the donors directly. Hsu raised approximately $47,000 for the committee in that time.

Related: Dems rush to dump donations from fugitive fundraiser

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Norman Hsu
soundoff (82 Responses)
  1. Rodney Dallas TX

    I commend her for giving up the $850,000. She is an honest person and would make a fantastic president. With that said, a squirrel would make a better president than the one we have now. So many people say she is connected with criminals. Well so are the Bush's. They have long ties to Saudi Arabians and their oil. Why do you think gas is so high? Bush isn't going to do anything about that cause his gas is free and he's getting paid everytime we feel up. Talk about a conflict of interest.

    September 11, 2007 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  2. David, Gilbert Arizona

    Posted By Banko: "Familiar pattern. Wake up America. Go Obama"

    Obama accepted contributions from this man. Obama donated the funds to charity.

    If Hillary is a demon for taking money from this man isn't Barack a demon also?

    September 11, 2007 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  3. Cary - Lowell, IN

    Someone gives you A MILLION DOLLARS, someone is your official "bundler" and you DON'T know his credentials? you DONT do back check on him? You ARENT intimately acquainted with someone who donates MILIONS ?!

    "I don't buy it."

    September 11, 2007 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  4. Danny G. Boca Raton, FL

    I guess doing the right thing just doesn't count in America anymore, she is giving back $850,000 to all donors connected with this guy... the guy is a looser or needs medications... but get over it and move on... Also if you want to belive that a Hillary nomination is good for the Republicans, keep on believing... just remember that wise old say: be careful what you wish for! like her or hate her, she is more than qualified for the Job and the best thing about her is, she does have the American people in her mind when doing anything in Government...

    September 11, 2007 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  5. Bill W, Coatesville PA

    Real simple, people. Just do a google search on this guy's name. Read what you find.

    His money comes from the Chinese government. They gave the Clintons millions while they were in office. In return, China got sensitive US PATRIOT MISSILE TECHNOLOGY.

    If you don't think this is scary stuff, you need therapy.

    September 11, 2007 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  6. Atlanta, Georgia

    Hey all Clinton haters, you fail to realize that Hsu gave to Obama; yet you want to bash Clinton. Atleast Clinton gives all the money back (which she didn't have to) Yet, Obama keeps his. It goes to show you, Obama needs his "hard earned money" tell me one thing Obama has done for this country; except be a jr. senator. tell me one great thing Obama will do; except go down as a "black president"

    Stop bashing Clinton. Atleast she is greater than you OR you would be running for office!

    September 11, 2007 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  7. Brad, Columbia, SC

    So... where are the howls of "Clinton News Network" now? No doubt right-wingers will ignore this and any other piece of non-pro-Clinton news and then resurface anytime something remotely positive is reported about her.

    Dirty fundraisers are a problem no matter who they're giving money to. I doubt that every politician has the time to go over every single donation they receive. And you know they're all so money-hungry that most of the time they're happy to take the cash, no questions asked. That being said, some of the Hsu-Clinton allegations are troubling.

    September 11, 2007 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  8. Dave, Miramar Beach Fl

    Again Republicans keep forgetting about Jack Abramoff.

    September 11, 2007 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  9. John Davis, Dallas, TX

    All these comments are proof the "Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy" is alive and desperately determined to "Swift-Boat" the leading Democratic candidate with whatever muck they can rake up. They have no viable candidate, and realize their dirty tricks are beginning to sicken the American Public. After eight years of ruinous governing, it is time to elect leadership having at heart the best interests of all the people.

    September 11, 2007 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  10. Maurice, Washington, DC

    Wow, some of you don't cease to amaze me with your hatred for Senator Clinton. When has smart and capable been a crime? She's not a saint, far from it, but show me a saint who is running right now. She is the most qualified and experienced and most tested. Trust me, you need skin that is as thick as Hillary's to go through the Republican attack machine.

    Get used to it now she will be the next President of the United States. Hate all you want. She will get her party's nomination and when that happens as it has for the past 100 years, her party will rally behind her. All this rhetoric will be over. It kills me how time and time the media is quick to link Mr. Hsu to Senator Clinton alone. That headline should have read 'Democratic fundraiser...' and not 'Clinton fundraiser...'.

    How quick the Republicans forget their own scandals. Where do I start? Enron? Scooter Libby? Senator Craig? If you are going to spew such hatred in a public forum like this then at least have the decency to be fair and balanced.

    September 11, 2007 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  11. Chip Celina OH

    Wow! That's about all I can say. Many here think that tying Hillary to this guy is unfair because he's given to other candidates. Hillary sent some of your tax dollars (about 950,000 worth) in the form of an 'earmark' to Eugene Lang College where Mr. Hsu sits on the board of governors. But, well, she didn't know that did she? Vast right wing conspiracy again? Maybe the sun was in her eyes.

    Last week when this surfaced it was 23,000 dollars to be returned.

    My biggest complaint resurfaces, Hillary didn't say anything here, we once again see that "A spokesman for the Clinton camapaign says...".

    That's pretty weak.

    September 11, 2007 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  12. Scott Moyer, Kalamazoo, MI

    They found Hsu curled up in a fetal position? Sounds like an insanity plea in the making to me! And am I the only one that finds it odd that the Hillary campaign went from identifying and returning $23,000 to suddenly acknowledging $850,000 in questionable contributions? That smells pretty fishy to me. Go Edwards!

    September 11, 2007 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  13. Daniel SLC UT

    Republicans are so full of them self's. You think just because you got Bush elected twice you can get any moron elected. Dream on. In reality you're super scared because she is going to win.


    September 11, 2007 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  14. Al, KS

    Nobody should be surprised by this...or any other questionable campaign contribution. There is sooooo much money...sooooo much influence buying on both sides, that the media could spend the rest of the election cycle checking everyones finances. Just another call for campaign finance reform.

    September 11, 2007 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  15. anon, new york, NY

    Hsu raised for funds for many dems presidential candidates. Hillary is the only candidate returning the funds, while other candidates including Obama shamelessly keep the money.

    It shows Hillary is experienced (knowing what to do) while others are candidates including Obama are shamelessly inexperienced or money grabing.

    I bet there are crooks in republican fundraisers too, and the difference is that they are not caught yet.

    That is the problem of new immigrants like Hsu (fundraisers or not) who don't know enough to hide their tricks. That is my conclusion after auditing tax returns for over 30 yrs.

    September 11, 2007 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  16. bigw, Mpls, MN

    can you say "white water?"

    September 11, 2007 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  17. Jon, Sacramento ~ Ca

    With Hillary as the democratic nominee... the Republican candidate will be a HSU-in to win.

    September 11, 2007 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  18. Jorge Manrique - Hagerstown, MD

    *coff* Jack Abramoff.

    Nearly ALL politicians are guilty of some gross ethics violations regarding campaign contributions. Bill Clinton was no slouch either- a night in the Lincoln bedroom was reported to have been worth as much as a $2 million donation...

    September 11, 2007 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  19. Thomas L Mpls, MN

    It seems like this guy is donating a bunch of money to Hillary because it's most likely she will pardon his criminal past like how Bill pardoned the fugitive on his last day in office.

    September 11, 2007 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  20. an American in Europe.

    Oh Please... the only reason this is news is because she HAD to return the money, since it was exposed for the public. if not, do you really think that money wouldn't be in her election fund right now? If you think she (or any member of her staff) has the morals to actually only accept funds from legitimate sources, you're probably on meds and in the fetal position as well... Hope she get's the dem nomination, because it won't be mud-slinging...more like a landfill!

    September 11, 2007 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  21. Tom - Dedham, Mass

    Are you Hillary apologists serious?

    This isn't the first interaction with this crook, she also lied about the amount, made it look good by saying she would give that small pittance to "charity", her and Billy boy faked shock when they were told he was a fugitive (he didn't give them $85, but $850,000 so you should know a little about a "Shrillraiser" who gives such a large amount.

    This isn't about anyone else, any other party or any other candidate, she took this HUGE amount, made sure he what he wanted out of he deal and it will not be INVESTIGATED further unlike that moron Larry Craig farting today and the media is all over it.

    People who say they are Republicans on this site, but hammer Bush are still called sheep, but you HILLARY CAN DO NO WRONG LOSERS think you are not?

    Go anyone but Billary 08.

    September 11, 2007 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  22. Don Lefever, New Port Richey Florida

    Why does it have to be "Clintons Fundraiser", this criminal gave money to all Democrats including Obama? Headlines dont read "Obama Fundraiser"!!! Media controls americas thought process not reality...

    September 11, 2007 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  23. Aaron, Perrysburg Ohio

    anybody recall Tom Noe???, both parties are guily of this crap – end this madness and cap individual AND business contibutions and all of this fundraising time could be spent dealing with issues the affect American's everyday!!!

    September 11, 2007 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  24. Terri, Marlton, NJ

    Why is Hsu named only as a Clinton fundraiser in this article when he has given to many candidates? Liberal media my eye!

    September 11, 2007 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  25. Scott, Chicago IL

    More evidence that China is really going through great lengths to buy as many elections as they can. Its obvious they want to create a soft spot with Democrats who would be less likely to engage China in any sort of conflict should one arise. The Republicans may have sold out to Saudi Arabia, but selling out to China is the worst possible scenario for America.

    September 11, 2007 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
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