The Chinese fundraising scandal involving DNC finance vice chairman John Huang first came to light in the final weeks of the 1996 presidential campaign. A former Commerce Department official, Huang was a top fundraiser who scooped up suspect foreign cash for Team Clinton.

A 1998 Senate Government Affairs Committee report on the scandal found “strong circumstantial evidence” that a great deal of foreign money had illegally entered the country in an attempt to influence the 1996 election. The DNC was forced to give back more than $2.8 million in illegal or improper donations from foreign nationals.

The most suspect funds were brought in by Johnny Chung, a bagman for the Asian billionaire Riady family. Chung confessed that at least $35,000 of his donations to the Clinton campaign and the DNC had come from a Chinese aerospace executive — a lieutenant colonel in the Chinese military. Chung said the executive had helped him meet three times with General Ji Shengde, the head of Chinese military intelligence. According to Chung’s testimony, General Shengde had told him: “We really like your president. We hope he will be reelected. I will give you $300,000 U.S. dollars. You can give it to . . . your president and the Democratic party.”

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