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Helms To Hold Hearings On Links Between China, Democrat Cash

Jesse Helms

'I think we're going to find something,' senator says

WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, June 6) -- The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will convene public hearings to probe whether transfers of missile technology to China -- approved by the Clinton administration -- might be linked to Democratic campaign contributions, said Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C.

"[I] don't know whether it's my head or my heart talking, but I think we're going to find something," the committee chairman said in an interview broadcast Saturday on CNN's "Evans and Novak." "Some atrocious things are going on in the name of politics, and for whatever other reason."

He said the focus of the inquiry would be "who said what to whom, when and for what." And Helms said that while some information might have to be discussed behind closed doors, he wants to conduct the hearings publicly as much as possible.

"I want to keep everything public so the American people can know what's going on," he said. Up to six hearings will be held.

Inquiries focus on Schwartz, Chung

Several congressional committees and the Justice Department are investigating whether Clinton waived restrictions on satellite technology exports to China as a favor to Bernard Schwartz, a major Democratic donor who is chief executive officer of the company that benefited from the transfer, Loral Space and Communications Co.

Both Clinton and Schwartz have denied any link between the waiver and the campaign contributions.

In addition, a friend of the president's from Little Rock, Johnny Chung, told Justice Department investigators that some of the money he raised for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) during the 1996 presidential campaign came from a lieutenant colonel in the Chinese army, Liu Chao-ying, who was also an executive with China Aerospace

That state-run company reportedly benefited from a change in administration policy that shifted the process of approving launches of American satellites atop Chinese rockets from the State Department -- which wanted to limit them -- to the Commerce Department -- which favored permitting them. At the time, the Commerce Department was headed by Ron Brown, former chairman of the DNC.

Liu has denied giving money to the DNC through Chung.

Helms opposes softening sanctions on India, Pakistan

On "Evans and Novak," Helms also said he thinks the administration's coziness with China "absolutely" played a part in the decision by neighboring India and Pakistan to push ahead with their nuclear programs.

And he said he would not support any effort by the Clinton administration to soften congressional sanctions on India and Pakistan in order to foster negotiations.

"That leaves China over there free as a bird, and I think that you've got to deal with the whole problem. And China's at least one-third of it," Helms said.

Helms also said he thinks the ongoing investigation by independent counsel Ken Starr is having a detrimental effect on Clinton's management of international policy.

"I don't know whether he's ever managed it or not, but there's been a decline, because when we are eternally reacting to events instead of being on top of them, something is badly wrong," Helms said.

He also said he and other Senate committee chairmen are having trouble getting information they need from the White House.

"I have an idea they've got a ghost writer down there who answers mail from the chairmen of committees," he said.

In Other News

Saturday, June 6, 1998

Helms To Hold Hearings On Links Between China, Democrat Cash
Clinton Urges Americans To Celebrate RFK's Legacy

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