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Ken Starr's New Case.

During the struggle to impeach Bill Clinton, THE NEW AMERICAN repeatedly asked why both Congress and Special Prosecutor Kenneth Starr chose to focus upon Clinton's sexual misconduct and related offenses rather than upon the bribery and treason involved in the "Chinagate" scandal. This was even more peculiar in light of the fact that Starr, whose original assignment was to investigate the Whitewater affair, had a clear chain of evidence linking that scandal to Chinagate. The odd prosecutorial priorities displayed by Starr appear even odder in retrospect, now that the former special prosecutor has turned up as a defense witness for Mark Jimenez, who is among the scores of figures implicated in illegal fundraising activities who have fled the country.

The Whitewater/Chinagate nexus inexplicably ignored by Starr was Assistant Attorney General Webster Hubbell, a longtime crony of the Clinton clique who had resigned from the Justice Department after being charged with fraud in the Whitewater affair. In May 1994, Hubbell agreed to cooperate with federal investigators in exchange for a reduced sentence. Destitute and facing a prison term, Hubbell suddenly received a lump sum of $600,000 in "consulting fees," the largest portion of which came from Indonesia's Lippo conglomerate. Lippo is tightly connected to the Communist Chinese regime, and Lippo chieftains James and Mochtar Riady, according to a Senate investigation, "have had a long-term relationship with a Chinese intelligence agency."

The Riadys also had a long-standing relationship with Bill Clinton. When Clinton's campaign faltered following the Gennifer Flowers disclosures in early 1992, it was Lippo-connected banking interests that provided a critical loan to keep the campaign alive. The Riadys were also key donors to the Clinton-Gore reelection campaign in 1996. The Lippo hush money thrown at Hubbell induced him to remain silent, when he was in a position to testify against both Bill and Hillary. In exchange, Bill Clinton personally saw to it that Lippo employee (and identified Chinese agent) John Huang was given a critical Commerce Department post. Huang used his position to gather valuable intelligence for both Lippo and China, and to help coordinate illegal campaign fundraising efforts.

The Lippo/Hubbell/Whitewater connection should have piqued the interest of any competent investigator. Instead, Starr ignored the issue, choosing to rack up a statistically impressive -- but ultimately irrelevant -- record convicting minor Whitewater players. After wrapping up his work as special prosecutor, Starr retreated into anonymity -- only to emerge as a defense attorney for fugitive businessman-turned-Philippine Congressman Mark Jimenez.

Jimenez, a major figure in the Clinton fundraising scandals, fled the United States in November 1998, just as Congress was preparing to impeach Bill Clinton on Lewinsky-related charges. A resident alien at the time of his flight, Jimenez had been indicted in September of that year for making nearly $40,000 in illegal campaign contributions to the Democrat National Committee in 1994 and 1996. Along with associates in his computer firm, Future Tech International, Jimenez was accused of funneling donations to the Clinton-Gore campaign through company employees. This practice, called "conduit contributions," is a way of circumventing legal limits on campaign contributions. As a citizen of the Philippines, Jimenez was barred from making direct contributions to political campaigns.

Jimenez, who first met Bill Clinton in 1994, gave over $800,000 to various Democrat Party causes. He sank $100,000 into the restoration of Bill Clinton's childhood home in Arkansas; he also gave generously to Democrat Senators Bob Torricelli of New Jersey and Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts.

He was an honored guest at the notorious February 6, 1996 White House "coffee" that was also attended by Communist Chinese smuggler Wang Jun. At that meeting, notes columnist Michelle Malkin, Jimenez "lobbied the administration on behalf of Paraguay, where his firm had major business interests." A month after that meeting, Clinton allowed Paraguay "to continue receiving U.S. aid despite restrictions on other Latin American governments that fail to control cocaine smuggling."

Following his indictment, Jimenez fled to the Philippines, where he became tight with Joseph Estrada, who was Clintonesque in his corruption and arrogance. It was Estrada's belief, notes Philippine journalist Mark Concepcion, that "a popular president could get away with anything." With the help of Jimenez -- who was eventually elected to the Philippine House of Representatives --"Estrada systematically looted the country." Like Bill Clinton, Estrada was impeached -- but unlike Clinton, he was also removed from office and now faces criminal charges.

The Justice Department is pursuing the extradition of Jimenez under a 1994 bilateral accord between the United States and the Philippines. According to an August 19th report from Manila's ABS-CBN News service, negotiations on a plea-bargain agreement between the Justice Department and Rep. Jimenez are being "brokered by the congressman's American lawyers, led by Kenneth Starr."
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Title Annotation:Mark Jimenez's connection to Clinton campaign funds
Publication:The New American
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 24, 2001
Words:786
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