Here are some highlights from Wednesday's session of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee's campaign finance hearings:
"But I think trying to make [Huang] some sort of mysterious character that was placed for subversive reasons or some nefarious purpose, that there was some sort of a plot involved in getting him into the specific position for other reasons that were going to be used later on ... I just saw nothing sinister about the process that was used to put him into that position." (128K wav sound)
-- Sen. John Glenn (D-Ohio), defending the appointment process that placed John Huang at his Commerce Department post
'Totally Missing The Mark'
"[Huang] had access to information that would have been of interest to Lippo. To say we haven't proved he's a spy yet is totally missing the mark and an attempt to divert our attention off of serious procedural matters, substantive matters, trying to find out what actually happened in this last presidential campaign."
-- Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.)
"[Huang] was totally unqualified, in my judgement, for the kind of Commerce Department that we were establishing. In past Commerce Departments it's very possible that he was qualified. But we set a different standard. I'm very proud of that standard and in the team that I had. He certainly was not qualified to be part of it ... In my view he should not have been involved with China in any way at all." (192K wav sound)
-- Former Undersecretary for International Trade Jeffrey Garten, John Huang's former superior, describing his employee
Looking Under Every Rock
"In hindsight there was a rock that wasn't turned over." (96K wav sound)
-- Commerce Department Acting Security Director Paul Buskirk, saying that he regrets that an overseas background check was not conducted on John Huang
"[Huang], according to his boss Charles Meissner, was Mr. Meissner's Asian specialist and Mr. Meissner specifically requested that I provide him with foreign intelligence on Asian countries so that he would be aware of what was going on in those countries."
-- CIA briefer John Dickerson, explaining that Huang's former boss at the Commerce Department, Charles Meissner, requested that Huang be briefed on classified intelligence concerning Asia. Meissner died in the plane crash that also killed former Commerce Secretary Ron Brown.
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