Indictment Looms For Buddhist Temple

WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, Jan. 30) -- The California Buddhist temple that served as the site of a controversial 1996 Clinton-Gore campaign event has been notified that it likely to be indicted, say its lawyers.

Vice President Al Gore attended an April 1996 event at the Hsi Lai Temple in Hacienda Heights that drew considerable attention after it was revealed that donors in attendance were illegally reimbursed by the temple.

Hsi Lai Nuns have already received immunity from prosecution, but the temple itself can be prosecuted for campaign-finance violations.

Gore's story about the event evolved as reporters asked more questions about it. He initially described it as a "community outreach" event, then later acknowledged that he knew beforehand that it was "finance-related."

But since tickets were not sold and not everyone who attended gave money, Gore and other Democrats maintain that the event was not a "fund-raiser," which would have been illegal under federal campaign-finance law to be held at a religious institution.

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