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 TIME on politics Congressional Quarterly CNN/AllPolitics CNN/AllPolitics - Storypage, with TIME and Congressional Quarterly

Trie faces new charge; Chung's sentencing postponed

WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, November 10) -- As the Justice Department continues its probe of President Bill Clinton and his administration's 1996 fund-raising practices, Democratic fund-raiser Charlie Trie was indicted by a federal grand jury in Little Rock, Arkansas Monday for obstructing a congressional investigation.

Meanwhile, Democratic contributor Johnny Chung's sentencing was postponed until November 16 while a federal judge reviews an unsolicited letter sent to the court by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) alleging that it was "victimized" by Chung's conduct.

Charlie Trie  

A similar obstruction charge against Trie, a longtime friend of Clinton, was dismissed previously in Washington because a judge said it was not filed in the proper venue. The latest indictment said the alleged offense occurred in Arkansas and elsewhere.

Trie is also under federal indictment for charges of funneling illegal contributions during the 1996 election cycle to the DNC to gain access to Clinton and other top officials.

After Clinton became president, Trie, a former Little Rock restaurateur, opened an international business consulting company in Washington, frequently attended Democratic fund-raising dinners and White House coffees.

When congressional fund-raising investigations were started in 1997, Trie was unavailable because he had fled overseas. He voluntarily returned in February and pleaded innocent to the federal indictments.

Democrats returned $645,000 that Trie either donated or raised after determining the money came from questionable and possibly illegal sources. Clinton's former legal defense fund returned $640,000 in contributions from Trie.

Chung's sentencing postponed

Chung lawyer Brian Sun argued Monday the DNC letter is irrelevant and should not be considered at the sentencing. U.S. District Court Judge Manuel Real asked that the defense provide the court with a written statement explaining their argument by Thursday.

Johnny Chung  

Chung emerged as a major figure in the campaign finance investigation into the allegations of illegal trading of campaign donations for White House access. Like Trie, Chung was a frequent White House visitor.

"Johnny Chung is fully cooperating with the entire probe, including providing details of his interaction with DNC officials and he wants this behind him," said Sun.

Chung plead guilty in March to felony tax and bank fraud charges unrelated to the campaign investigation and two misdemeanor campaign finance charges. In 1995, Chung improperly donated $20,000 to the Clinton-Gore campaign and $10,000 to the campaign of Sen. John F. Kerry (D- Massachusetts), according to the Justice Department.

Chung could receive a maximum 37 years in prison and a fine of nearly $1.5 million when he is sentenced.


Trial dates set for Trie, Kanchanalak (8-21-98)

Chung to implicate Chinese state business in moneytrail (3-6-98)

Chung agrees to plead guilty (3-5-98)

Charlie Trie indicted (1-286-98)


Gavel to Gavel: AllPolitics special report on campaign fund-raising


Tuesday, November 10, 1998

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