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. susan, fort pierce, Florida

    Hillary Clinton evil?? If you want evil just check out Chaney or Bush!
    Especialy Chaney!

    September 11, 2007 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  2. Justin T, Everett, WA

    Well spoken John Davis...

    Indeed a cute slant on this story by the for-profit mainstream media.

    It amazes me how financing scandals like this are cherry picked for presentation to us, the public at large.

    Norman Hsu may indeed be crooked, but he's not a terrorist, is he?

    It has now been six years since Lieutenant General Mahmoud Ahmad of Pakistan's ISI (our supposed allies)was exposed as having financed the 9-11 hijackers. This was not alleged–it was proven.

    September 11, 2007 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  3. Weaver, Dallas, TX.

    Sure she will return all the money,,,,,not. If you believe that her and slick Willy will return this money your crazy.

    September 11, 2007 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  4. Vladimir, Spokane WA

    What happened to the culture of corruption? I thought only republicans were bad guys?

    September 11, 2007 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  5. Elizabeth M, Richmond, CA

    I love the way so many Republicans are trying to tie a common "bundler", of the sort used by every candidate including St. John McCain, Gucci Gulch Fred, 9/11 rip-off artist Crazy Rudy, and Flipper Mitt, to some sinister CHINESE conspiracy whereby the Clintons are allegedly in their pay & control. Hilarious if typically racist, and quite indicative of the lack of education required to reach that low. Dream on if you think any of your oh-so-weak candidates could touch Hillary in an election. She would eviscerate any of them in a debate. She sent Crazy Rudy packing in the 2000 Senate race, & she'll do it again to whichever Reptilian weakling gets the short straw next year. Plus she has that delicious ability to make her detractors appear as though they are accusing her of murder, always an added bonus.

    September 11, 2007 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  6. Chris, Middletown, CT

    There will be no convincing Democrats....these are the same people who will listen to a Hillary speech and agree that gas prices are so high due to the current adminstration (and they believe that too) – now...if they read...they would know gas is a commodity. Watch CSPAN sometime...and watch the Democrats "save" money on a program...only to say "now that we saved 10 million...we can move that money over here for this entitlement program" – they are a scarey crew – followed by (albeit well meaning) morons. Hillary polarizes the country....we don't need a left winger....nor do we need a right....there is only one moderate running....

    September 11, 2007 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  7. GrACE, NY

    You Clinton apologist need to wake up. If you think this is bad ...what do you think will happen if the Republicans get to run against her. All of this will be replayed over and over again.

    What you NUTS forget is that in the GENERAL election it takes more than DEMOCRATIC votes to win. She will drive away independants. For the life of me I don't know why you can't see that.

    Hillary in the GENERAL will be like handing it over to the Republicans. I don't care what the polls say now. 9 months of Clinton shady deals and links to corrupt people will be too much. biggest problem is not that HSU gave her the money but that they lied about it at first. Labor Day weekend they said they were surprised to find this out now we read that they knew about him back in June. They wee willing to keep the corrupt funds until they were found out.

    September 11, 2007 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  8. John NC

    The Clintons are very unethical

    September 11, 2007 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  9. David, Los Angeles, CA

    He gave plenty of money to Obama too, but he's a "Clinton Fundraiser"? Could CNN be any more biased?

    September 11, 2007 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  10. VM, San Diego, CA

    1. He raised $7000 for Obama. That's not exactly on par with $850k.

    2. Obama has more experience in elected office than Mrs. Clinton, having served 8 years in the Illinois State Senate before being elected to the US Senate. First Lady is not an elected office.

    September 11, 2007 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  11. Pam eugene OR

    Vic in Alaska:
    Your brain cells must be frozen from your cold weather there. When this was first reported 2 weeks ago it was said that HRC had gotten $45,000 from this crook. She said she was returning $23,000. What about the rest of it??? Now we find out it is over $850,000 which she must have known at the time. I am sure it was somewhere in the millions!
    How can you support such a scumbag? You say Obama has no experience but if this is what your idea of expreience (taking the crooked money) this country does not want or need her qualifications. Come to the party...smell the coffee...for Gods sake WAKE UP. She is bad news.
    Anyone but Clinton 08

    September 11, 2007 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  12. Carrol Ann, Newport, Maine

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

    So why the headline "Clinton Fundraiser Found in...."

    September 11, 2007 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  13. CLC, Broomfield, CO

    Nick from Miami says: "Hillary's nomination will be automatic win for Republicans"

    So a return to extreme prejudice, preaching, and further Constitutional revisionism from the likes of a blatantly anti-human-rights actor is preferred over someone with experience and some sense of fairness and equality? What ever happened to separation of church and state? Last time I looked, the President's job is not to preach or impose personal moral values. It is to address the needs of the nation and uphold the sense of order and equality this country was founded upon.

    September 11, 2007 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  14. Bea, Hoboken, NJ

    How about today giving some of us a break on the Hillary bashing? This is a rough day for some of us who were at the WTC on that fateful morning. If you don't live in this part of the country, you may not be aware that Hillary has worked very hard (also Chuck Schumer) all these years obtaining needed funds for the city. Suffice it to say that she has won the respect and support of the firefighters and they are not that easily impressed. Some of you may prefer the caricature to the real woman, but she actually listens to people's concerns at meetings and tends to act upon them. She's also quite personable and has a sense of humor.

    September 11, 2007 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  15. Dark

    I read a nice break down of some of Hillary and Bill's connections to these shady doners. Make no mistake about it, they knew exactly what was going on.
    It will be interesting to see if the media digs as deep as they did over the AG Gonzales non-stories.

    September 11, 2007 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  16. Roman, Chicago IL

    It makes little difference if you people are at the victory party or not !
    Sen Clinton WILL be the next Prez of the USA !!! (thank God!!)

    September 11, 2007 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  17. Ria, Clifton, NJ

    She's a senator (carpetbagger, so I won't say from NY) in NY who has not introduced any legislation for the good (or bad) of the state (none, signed 2 pieces brought about by other state senators). She has used the senate to begin her presidential campaign not to work FOR the people of NY. So, can anyone tell me what EXPERIENCE this woman has running anything, let alone the worlds most powerful country???

    September 11, 2007 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  18. Marty, West Carne, NJ

    DONG! Where is my au-to-mo-bile ?!

    September 11, 2007 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  19. dawn -- Gaithersburg, MD.

    If Hsu hadn't been exposed, NO ONE, including Sen. Clinton would've known about his outstanding warrant, the original excuse for the "scandal."
    Sen. Clinton never lied about the amount of money Hsu donated. He personally donated $45,000 AND he bundled an additional $850,000, supposedly from other donors. Two weeks is NOT an unreasonable amount of time to check that that money was legally donated. Why should Sen. Clinton have returned money if it had been legally donated by people who wanted to support her AND, LIKE HER, DIDN'T KNOW that Hsu was a criminal? Presumably her check revealed that Hsu was laundering the contributions. Therefore, she returned the donations: QED, end of story.
    If you believe the thoroughly debunked gossip that the Clintons improperly fundraised and/or sold state secrets to China, Ken Starr has a bridge in Iraq, he'd like to sell you.
    PLEASE ... some facts or logic or something other than 10 year old talking points.

    September 11, 2007 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  20. Matthew Doyle, Columbus Ohio

    Where is Mr. Hsu NOW! I understand he skipped bail and left the country. What did he have to hide? Why isn't this part of the story larger, what other information did he have? Who posted his bail? I will be surprised if the trail does NOT lead back to the Clinton's. I would love to hear Mr. Hsu side of the story oh I guess that will never happen, does anyone remember Foster!!

    September 11, 2007 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  21. Earl, Ohio

    Hillary took his money: Check.

    Obama took his money: Check.

    Edwards DID NOT take his money: Check.

    September 11, 2007 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  22. Uma, mpls, MN

    Why CNN is only pointing Hillary, Obama also got money from him.
    I don't see Clinton's fault at all, could have done better checking his background but when you swim in ocean you can find both god fish and some rotten fish and Norman is one of stinky fish that Hillary got.

    September 11, 2007 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  23. David, Kingwood, TX

    I Foreman, if ur stil reading this, the answer to your question is that it's because Hilary has the most to lose.

    September 11, 2007 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  24. Chima, York, PA

    People....people...calm down a bit. Let's set aside the vitriol and face tha facts here:

    Hsu was a "Hillraiser", which is the name that Hillary's campaign gave to certain fundraisers who were tapped to raise millions of dollars for her presidential campaign. He explicitly supported Hillary's presidential campaign.

    Regarding Obama...yes, he did raise $7000 for Obama's SENATORIAL campaign back in 2003, but he did not donate to his presidential campaign, nor was he a fundraiser for Obama (as noted above, he was a Hillraiser).

    And this is to Anon...please don't make stuff up if you are uninformed, ok? Obama's campaign donated $7000 to charity once Hsu's criminal background became public knowledge, so don't post nonsense about Obama "shamelessly" keeping the's not true.

    Lastly, though I'm an Obama supporter, I don't think Hillary should be slammed for Hsu being a crook...there is no evidence that she was aware of it.

    September 11, 2007 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  25. Claude, Mesa AZ

    To all you AIRHEADS who continue to support Hillary Clinton....this is almost $1,000,000!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!a far cry from $17,000. Who's going to pay attention to a $17,000 donation over time? Noone, but $1,000,000 and a HILLRAISER DESIGNATION on top of that..... anyone with common sense would do a background check especially with the fishy campaign finance history the CLINTONS have. Again, Hillary Clinton has demonstrated how much of a hypocrite she is. One month ago she voted in the senate that all bundler donors should be disclosed, but she has refused to disclose the 260 donors who contributed the $850,000. What is she hiding???? And what is she hiding in the library papers??? Are you seeing a trend here?

    September 12, 2007 01:48 am at 1:48 am |
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