THE CAMPAIGN FOR A CONGRESSIONAL IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY Impeach Al Gore A project of The Conservative Caucus
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IF GORE GOES FIRST, CLINTON WOULD LIKELY FOLLOW
Excerpted from Howard Phillips Issues and Strategy Bulletin of February 28, 1998
Is it time to impeach Al Gore? Before the liberals delivered the coup de grace to Richard Nixon, they knew it was necessary to first remove Spiro Agnew from the scene. Having forced Vice President Agnew's resignation, eliminating Nixon was, for them, a slam dunk.
Now Joe Farah writes in between the lines (3/3/98) that, a "draft report by the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee strongly links Gore with money laundering at the Hsi Lai Temple in Southern California. As you might recall, that was the event, coordinated by Maria Lynn Hsia, in which Buddhist priests and nuns who took vows of poverty raised tens of thousands of dollars for the Democratic National Committee as well as candidates."
GORE SAYS "HSIA NO EVIL"
"Hsia is now under indictment for, among other things, raising $55,000 in illegal contributions at an April 29, 1996, luncheon in which Gore was the featured attraction.
"'It had nothing to do with me,' Gore claimed after Hsia was charged."
GORE WAS IN HSIA'S SIGHTS TEN YEARS AGO
"Yet, that's not what the Senate committee's report found. In fact, it says the temple money laundering was 'the culmination of a relationship between Hsia and Vice President Gore that stretches back to 1988.' It also suggests he knows far more about the temple event than he has admitted publicly.
"According to the report, Hsia is also tied closely with the Lippo Group, an Indonesian conglomerate at least partly owned by Communist China. Among Hsia's lobbying clients were the notorious Riady brothers, central figures in the White House campaign scandal."
WHOSE NATIONAL SECURITY HAS BENEFITED: USA OR RED CHINA?
"Gore hitched his wagon to Hsia's star in 1988. Strapped for cash after his unsuccessful bid for the presidential nomination, he had a Senate seat to defend. She invited Gore to join her on a junket to Taiwan and promised, if he participated, that she would back him in future races. Hsia's lobbying group had hoped five U.S. senators would take the trip. Gore was the only one who did. But staff members Peter Knight, later head of the Clinton-Gore '96 campaign, and Leon Fuerth, now the vice president's national security adviser, joined him."
IN 1988, GORE ILLEGALLY VIOLATED ELECTION LAW CEILINGS
"Following the trip, Hsia raised $29,500 for Gore's 1990 Senate race, according to the report. But how he got the money is a scandal in itself. The funds were sent to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee to avoid the limits placed on donations to individual candidates. But the DSCC ran a bogus tally system permitting individuals and political action committees to earmark funds for certain candidates. The DSCC was forced to pay a $75,000 fine for the illegal system."
501(c)3 BUDDHISTS GAVE GORE AND DNC $100,000-PLUS, WITH RED CHINESE STRINGS ATTACHED
"Furthermore, Gore knew about the scheme. The committee cites letters form Gore in 1989 and 1990 thanking Hsia for the 'tallied' contributions she had funneled to him.
"From there, Hsia continued her promised support to the Clinton-Gore 1996 campaign. The $15,000 laundered through foreign national nuns and priests at the temple event was just the beginning. The Democratic National Committee netted more than $100,000 at the temple. (By the way, while a small Christian church has lost its tax-exempt status as a result of anti-Clinton preaching by its pastor in 1996, the temple's charitable status remains.)"
NINE NUNS LAUNDER MONEY TO KEEP GORE'S ENVIRONMENT GREEN
"Hsia is also charged with raising $10,000 from the temple, laundered through four nuns, in September 1995. In February 1996, she allegedly arranged for another $25,000 contribution laundered through nine nuns. In July 1996, she is charged with raising another $10,000 from the temple laundered through two nuns. Hsia was rewarded with co-chairman status at a Presidential Gala attended by Clinton for her hard work.
"Yet, Gore maintains the temple luncheon was not a fund-raiser, but a 'community outreach event.' For this statement alone, Gore should be impeached for either high treason or profound stupidity take your pick."
WHO TOLD THEM TO SHRED?
"Though I've never been one to over-estimate Gore's intelligence, it appears to be more in the order of high crimes and misdemeanors rather than ignorance. The Senate report says two weeks before the event, Gore's scheduler passed out a sheet showing that the luncheon had a ticket price ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 per head. Before the event, White House Deputy Chief of Staff Harold Ickes sent Gore a memo estimating the expected take from the event. Two guests at the luncheon say speakers, including John Huang and DNC Chairman Don Fowler, encouraged donations.
"And guess who sat at the head table with Gore? You guessed it. His long-time fund-raiser and organizer of the event, Maria Lynn Hsia. The temple has admitted shredding documents about the luncheon and shipping videotapes off to Taiwan."
GORE FOLLOWED THE MONEY
"These are the facts. But behind them lies something even more sinister than simple violations of campaign finance laws. Where did the money come from? It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that much of it, maybe all of it, came from foreign sources. Given the participation of the Riadys and Huang, that likely means only one thing China."
GORE BROKE THE LAW: TITLE 18, SECTION 607(a)
Herb Titus agrees. In a legal brief prepared in behalf of The Conservative Caucus for Congressman Bob Barr (R-Georgia), Dr. Titus observed: "On Wednesday, September 3, 1997, the United States Department of Justice announced that it had launched a review of Vice President Al Gore's solicitations of campaign contributions by telephone from his White House office to determine whether they warrant a full-scale investigation that he violated Title 18, Section 607(a) of the United States Criminal Code. Section 607(a) states that it 'shall be unlawful for any person to solicit...any contribution [within the meaning of the Federal Election Campaign Act] in any room or building occupied in the discharge of official duties [by any federal officer...receiving a salary from the U.S. Treasury]....' Anyone who violates the act is subject to a fine or imprisonment up to three years, or both. In other words, violation of the act is a felony...."
IT'S A FELONY WITH NO VICE PRESIDENTIAL EXCEPTION
"Although the second paragraph of Section 607 exempts members of Congress under certain circumstances, there is no exemption for the President or Vice President. The Justice Department has publicly confirmed this to be the case, stating that Title 18, Section 607 of the U.S. Code 'does apply to the Vice President, and to the President.'..."
THE MONEY WASN'T SOFT
"[T]he statute prohibits the solicitation of 'any contribution,' which is defined by Title 2, Section 431(8) of the Federal Election Campaign Act as 'any gift, subscription, loan advance, or deposit of money or anything of value made by any person for the purpose of influencing any election for Federal Office.' Notwithstanding this clear statutory language, Gore's claim that he solicited only 'soft money' appeared to exonerate him from criminal liability at least in the eyes of Janet Reno's Justice Department.
"Soon, however, Gore's 'soft money' began to unravel. First, it was disclosed to the Senate Government Affairs Committee that Gore used a Clinton-Gore campaign credit card to make at least 48 calls to potential donors from his White House Office. Previously, Gore had claimed that he had used a Democratic National Committee credit card. Next, it was learned from records released by Gore's office that $120,000 of the $355,000 that the Vice President had raised had not been deposited in the Democratic National Committee's 'soft money' accounts, but instead had gone into the legally restricted 'hard money' accounts...."
"I AM NOT A CROOK" IS NOT THE RIGHT STANDARD
"Whether Gore knew or did not know, and whether his state of mind is relevant to the question of his criminal liability under Title 18, Section 607(a) of the United States Code, the Constitution holds the Vice President to a higher standard than the criminal code. Ever since President Richard Milhaus Nixon, in the midst of the Watergate affair, announced to the American people that 'I am not a crook,' the American people rightfully have held those in whom they have entrusted high office to meet the constitutional standards for that office...."
INDEPENDENT COUNSEL LACKS AUTHORITY TO REMOVE GORE FROM OFFICE
"An independent counsel has only the power to investigate whether the Vice President has violated a criminal statute, and if he finds evidence of such a violation, to prosecute him according to law. Upon conviction, a judge has only the authority to sentence the Vice President to pay the fine and serve the sentence authorized by law.
"The House of Representatives, however, has the 'power of impeachment.' That power extends beyond statutorily defined criminal acts to 'high crimes and misdemeanors,' acts that constitute abuses of power and breaches of duties of high office. The Senate, in turn, has the power to remove a person convicted of an impeachable offense from office and to disqualify that person from holding 'any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States.'
"The power of the House to reach beyond the criminal law is without question. As the Judiciary Committee of the House reported on August 20, 1974, when it preferred Three Articles of Impeachment against Richard Nixon, the constitutional scope of 'high crimes and misdemeanors' included 'constitutional wrongs that subvert the structure of government, or undermine the integrity of office and even the Constitution itself.' H.Rep.No. 93-1305, pp. 1-4, 6-8 (93d Cong., 2d Sess. Aug. 20, 1974)."
NIXON IMPEACHMENT INVESTIGATION FOCUSED ON ABUSE OF POWER
"Quoting extensively from an impeachment inquiry staff report, the Judiciary Committee explained its position:
While it may be argued that some articles of impeachment have charged conduct that constituted a crime and thus that criminality is an essential ingredient...the fact remains that in English practice and in several of the American impeachments the criminality issue was not raised at all. The emphasis has been on the significant effects of the conduct undermining the integrity of office, disregard of constitutional duties and oath of office, arrogation of power, abuse of governmental process, adverse impact on the system of law. Clearly, these effects can be brought about in ways not anticipated by the criminal law. Id., at 7. ..."
CLINTON AND GORE ARE UNFIT TO SERVE
"By establishing that an impeachable offense need not be an indictable offense, the House Judiciary Committee clearly affirmed that the purpose of an impeachment is not to punish a person for criminal wrongdoing. Rather, the purpose is to remove, and possibly exclude, a person as unfit to serve in high civil office...."
CONGRESS HAS A DUTY TO PROSECUTE
"To fulfill this Constitutional purpose, the House, however, must assume an executive role similar to that of a prosecutor in our system of government....
"Vice President Gore knowingly, recklessly and negligently abused the process by which immigrants are naturalized as citizens for the purpose of advancing the political agenda of the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton/Gore campaign."
GORE ENCOURAGED IMMIGRANT VOTE FRAUD
"In April of 1995, Vice President Gore named Citizenship USA as one of the key components of his program to 'reinvent government.' Citizenship USA was a program designed by the Clinton Administration to naturalize 1.3 million immigrants in 1996, almost triple the previous record set in 1995. Under the Vice President's National Performance Review office, 1,049,872 immigrants were naturalized under Citizenship USA in disregard of normal procedures and legal standards in order to obtain [an] electoral advantage for the Democratic Party in the November 1996 elections."
NORMAL PROCEDURES VIOLATED TO SECURE ONE MILLION ALIEN VOTES FOR DEMOCRATS
"On March 5, 1997, Assistant Attorney General Stephen Colgate admitted in testimony before two House subcommittees that 71,557 of the 1,049,872 immigrants naturalized under the Citizenship USA program were made citizens without undergoing the FBI criminal background check required by law. In the cases of an additional 66,000, Colgate confessed that 'there was no evidence' that an FBI check was ever conducted. As for the 71,557, 9,000 have been checked after the fact, yielding 168 who are 'presumptively ineligible' for citizenship. To rectify these errors, the United States must begin the process of revoking their citizenship."
PHONY FINGERPRINTS HASTENED PROCESSING OF NEW CITIZENS IN KEY STATES
"In addition, Mr. Colgate conceded that, under the Citizenship USA program, an applicant for citizenship could go anywhere to get his fingerprints taken. As a consequence of this policy, he admitted that there was no guarantee that the fingerprints submitted were actually those of the applicant."
CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECKS SHELVED TO PLEASE GORE
"Such abuses appear to have occurred because of the pressure placed upon INS to 'streamline' its naturalization process in order to register over one million new citizens in time to vote in the November elections. Indeed, had INS officials not resisted a number of importunities from the Clinton administration 'to waive INS rules and regulations' more abuses than those uncovered thus far would have occurred."
WAIVERS OF PROCESS DEMANDED BY GORE AIDE
"The request for a waiver came from senior Gore aide, Doug Farbrother, and was addressed to INS Commissioner, Doris Meissner. In his faxed message to her, Farbrother advised that to 'get the results the Vice President wants, I need to get plenty of authority into the hands of your district directors in the big cities. I simply don't have time to deal with the whole multi-layered organization.'"
TAX-SUBSIDIZED ACTIVIST GROUPS DID THE DIRTY WORK
"Not surprisingly the big city district directors were targeted by Citizenship USA because of the overwhelming number of new citizens in urban areas to register and to vote Democratic. In Chicago, for instance, the United Neighborhood Organization (UNO), [an] Hispanic group long active in Chicago's Democratic politics, scoured the neighborhoods recruiting immigrants for citizenship. The Chicago Tribune reported that UNO and other like groups were 'licensed to take the prospective citizens' fingerprints, prepare their applications and help them study for citizenship tests.' Such private and partisan activities by UNO yielded nearly 36,999 new citizens after the 1992 elections until the INS general counsel ruled that using volunteer organizations like UNO was illegal. By then, however, Citizenship USA had been substantially completed in the Chicago area."
GREEN CARDS SELL FOR $30,000
"The Tribune also reported a number or abuses, including the taking of fingerprints by unauthorized persons and the failure to retrieve newly minted citizens' 'green cards' as required by law. Such 'green cards' could be sold for as much as $30,000 on the streets of Chicago. In addition, the Tribune interviewed an INS deportation officer who had left the Citizenship USA program: 'They are not stopping people the way we used to. The big initiative is to get all these people eligible to vote and registered. It's just a rush for numbers.' The fact that no citizenship swearing-in ceremony was scheduled after the October 8 vote registration deadline in Illinois confirmed the officer's observations."
CITIZENSHIP DENIAL DROPS OFF FROM 33% TO 6%
"The deportation officer also stated to the Tribune that before Citizenship USA was launched the rate of denial of citizenship was 33%; by July 1996 that rate had declined to 6%. This inflated pass rate appeared not to be confined to Chicago, as ABC's 20/20 reported that in Dallas the INS had hired a private business to conduct citizenship exams and that employees of that business were speaking to the applicants in Spanish and assisting them with answers, both of which were in direct violations of the federal rules.
"There is little doubt that these abuses and violations occurred in response to the plan to produce a million new citizens before election day 1996, a plan orchestrated and implemented by the Vice President and his staff for partisan political advantage in the 1996 elections."