Clinton campaign dismissed alarm bells raised by California businessman about Hsu

The LA Times reports that the Clinton campaign “dismissed allegations about Hsu” made by Irvine, CA businessman Jack Cassidy:

Before the announcement, new evidence surfaced that the Clinton camp had dismissed allegations about Hsu made by a Southern California businessman. In an e-mail obtained by The Times, a Clinton campaign staffer told a California Democratic Party official in June that the businessman’s concerns were unwarranted.

“I can tell you with 100 certainty that Norman Hsu is NOT involved in a ponzi scheme,” wrote Samantha Wolf, who was a campaign finance director for the Western states.”He is COMPLETELY legit.”

In fact, Hsu was a fugitive wanted on a 15-year-old bench warrant stemming from an early 1990s investment fraud case.

The businessman’s query prompted Clinton staffers to review public records about Hsu, but no problems surfaced, the campaign source said. In part because of that incident, the campaign also announced Monday that it would institute more stringent procedures to vet major contributors, including running criminal background checks.

How could Hsu’s fugitive background have been missed, considering this:

Generally, campaign officials said, those background checks involve a campaign worker running the name of a major donor or bundler through a public database such as LexisNexis, which provides access to newspaper, magazine and journal articles, as well as congressional transcripts and television broadcasts.

You’d think that the leading contender for the Democratic nomination would be a lot more careful in the company it chooses to keep right?

Questions about Hsu were first raised in June by an Irvine businessman, Jack Cassidy, who contacted the Clinton campaign and party officials about his suspicions, which he had heard about through a friend.

“There is a significant probability that a man using the name of Norman Hsu is running a Ponzi scheme,” Cassidy wrote to a California Democratic Party official on June 18 in an e-mail obtained by The Times. Describing the deal he understood Hsu was offering to investors, he wrote: “The math does not work!”

The party official passed Cassidy’s concerns to Samantha Wolf, who rejected them.

On June 20, Cassidy sent an e-mail directly to Wolf.

“I am more than ever convinced that a man claiming to be a big fundraiser for Hillary Clinton is running a Ponzi scheme,” he wrote. He said he feared that an associate “may lose her home” because of her participation in the scheme and cautioned Wolf that Hsu may be “using your good name in vane.”

As Betsy Newmark notes here, the LA Times itself did a search of Norman Hsu’s name on a two “commonly used databases” earlier this month and found this information on Norman Hsu :

The most obvious red flag: A check of a commonly used database produces a 1990 San Francisco Chronicle news story detailing how Norman Hsu had been kidnapped by gang members in the San Mateo County suburb of Foster City. A second widely used database discloses that Norman Yuan Yuen Hsu of Foster City had a bankruptcy in 1990.

Having established that he lived in San Mateo County, a check of the San Mateo County Superior Court’s website reveals that Norman Yuan Yuen Hsu had a criminal case.

So let me get this straight: Cassidy had heard through another businessman about Hsu’s shady business schemes, and the information was passed on twice to the Clinton campaign – once through a state Dem. senator and another time through Cassidy himself, and the LA Times can search two “commonly used databases” and find out that Norman Hsu had a criminal case – and the Clinton campaign, which I’m sure has research resources at its disposal that most regular folks don’t have, couldn’t find anything on Hsu?

I’m not buying the assertion made by the Clinton staffer that the campaign conducted a “review” of Hsu’s public records. There is simply no way in you-know-where that they wouldn’t have been able to find any information on a man who was a fugitive from the law for some 15 years. Most of your top tier candidates have people on their staff who know how to search for information on people whose records they want to dig into – like their opponents.

Brian at Liberty Pundit sums it up:

And let’s face it, it didn’t take a lot of detective work for the press or bloggers to find out that this guy was a fugitive and who he donated to or how much he gave, so how hard could it have been for Democrats to find out the same thing, too? Plus you’re going to sit there and tell me that after all these years of him throwing money at the Democrats, nobody thought once to look into his past or his criminal history? That’s just too far-fetched, in my opinion.

It’s quite clear what went on here: they liked his money and they didn’t care where it was coming from or whether any laws were being broken. They didn’t care who he was, whether he was a fugitive from justice, or even if he was connected to a foreign government (and there’s some stuff that says he very well might be). It was all about the money.

Not only that, but since the media is notoriously soft on covering money scandals related to Democrat campaign donations, they probably figured they’d get a pass on this one, too. I’m glad to see that at least two outlets – the LAT, which doesn’t even lean remotely to the right, and the Wall Street Journal, whose news pages are not conservative like their editorial board is – are doing the digging that the New York Times (which continues covering for Hillary here) and the rest of the liberal media would do only if this involved any allegations of Republican wrongdoing.


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