HIGHTOWER: A Chronology of Campaign Corruption

"The Campaign Corruption Caper of Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd." Here's the story . . . just as it happened.It's the fall of 1995. A Connecticut businessman named Belcher, James, is having a problem. He owns a rubber plantation in Liberia. Because of a civil war there, his rubber trees are threatened with damage. Belcher calls Dodd, his senator. Dodd calls the State Department. The State Department puts pressure on Liberia. Belcher's trees get protection.A few days later, Belcher gets a call. It's Dodd. The senator is hoping that Belcher might help [quote] "support" the Democratic Party. Dodd says that a man from the Party will be in touch. That man is: John Huang, the Asian-American who raised bundles of questionable cash for the Party.December 8th. Mr. Huang visits Mr. Belcher in his Connecticut office.Two weeks later, December 21st. Mr. Belcher finds himself sipping coffee in the White House with the President of the United States. He's there for one of Bill's little private coffee klatches. Senator Dodd is there, too.Later that same day. Belcher writes a $50,000 check to the Party. Two months later, he writes another check for $70,000.At first, Dodd denied even being at the White House coffee with Belcher. But Belcher said he not only saw the senator there, but spoke to him. Confronted with this, Cool Chris Dodd responded cryptically: I would not argue I was there, and I would not argue I was not there." Then he said, "I would not deny I was there now."Strange guy, the senator.Chris Dodd, guilty of campaign corruption . . . or not? You be the judge.Source:"Dodd's dissembling". Roll Call: February 20, 1997. "Dodd's coffee ties: DNC Chairman Aided Businessman who gave $120K" by Ed Henry. Roll Call: February 20, 1997. "Big donor aided by Sen. Dodd is Linked to Huang" by Ed Henry. Roll Call: February 20, 1997. "What did Dodd know?".Roll Call: February 24, 1997.

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