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Page Five: Gore's Justice Department Interview
Q: Let me turn your attention to Government Exhibit YZ. The first page is an invitation, Democratic National Committee's Asian Pacific American Leadership Council.
Q: Had you seen that invitation before?
A: I did not see it until -- I did not see it contemporaneously. I saw it at the time of the Thompson committee hearings, and it clearly indicates that somebody had in mind a fundraiser at another location, and a trip to go see the Hsi Lai Temple -- well, that's not indicated here.
MR. NEAL: Mr. Vice President ---
THE WITNESS: Yes.
MR. NEAL: -- to move it along.
THE WITNESS: Yes.
MR. NEAL: They asked you if you've seen it. Have you --
THE WITNESS: I never saw it before.
BY MR. CONRAD:
Q: Turn to the second page of that exhibit, which to be an April 10 memorandum to the President and the Vice President. Have you seen that before?
A: Not contemporaneously. I testified previously that these regular Ickes memos piled up in such volume I regularly just sent them over to Ron Klain, my chief of staff.
Q: Turning your attention to the next page, which is Schedule A to the memorandum, which is the second page of this exhibit --
Q: -- have you seen that before?
A: Same answer.
Q: It would refer to, among other things, an April 29 VPOTUS event in Los Angeles, at which projected revenues were $250,000 and projected costs $25,000. Then a similar notation for the San Jose fundraiser on the same date. Have you seen this ---
A: Same answer.
Q: Did you have any involvement in the estimate of revenue or costs?
Q: Whether or not you've seen the exhibit itself?
Q: Who is Peggy Wilhide?
A: Former press secretary.
Q: Did she accompany you on the trip to California for the Temple event?
A: I don't remember.
Q: Do you recall having any conversation with her about the --
A: Now, I say press secretary. She may have been a deputy at this -- I'm just not sure. I thought that -- I thought that Lorraine Bowles was --
THE WITNESS: Do you remember when she took over?
MS. BROWN: I think Lorraine was still there during this time.
THE WITNESS: Well, was Peggy there then?
MS. BROWN: I wasn't there.
THE WITNESS: Where are you reading Peggy Wilhide?
MR. CONRAD: I'm not reading.
BY MR. CONRAD:
Q: I'm just asking you who she is, without referring to a specific document at this time.
A: Okay. She was a press secretary for me. She no longer is. She works for NASA now.
Q: Then the followup question was, do you recall having any conversations with her prior to the event, concerning the event?
Q: Let me turn your attention to some photographs that were taken at the event, which are contained, I think, in your book at Government's Exhibit GG.
A: Yes. Mine is marked G, but that's fine.
Q: Turning your attention to the first photograph listed there, do you recognize that photograph?
A: It was shown to me yesterday. I think yesterday was the first time I saw that photograph. I may have seen it before.
Q: Does it appear to accurately reflect the Temple event that you attended on April 29th?
Q: Who is the person to your left?
A: All that I -- the only thing that I know about him is what I have read about him in the accounts at that time. With my memory refreshed on the prior documents, I know that he was an attendee at the luncheon, or the breakfast at the Hay Adams. To my knowledge, that luncheon and this -- that breakfast and this luncheon were the only times that I have been with him. But he has a somewhat unusual appearance, and I think I would remember other times, but I don't.
MR. NEAL: Unusual tie, too.
THE WITNESS: Yes.
BY MR. CONRAD:
Q: And the person you are referring to has a name tag that says Ted Sioeng?
Q: Do you recall any conversation with him at all at the --
Q: -- Temple event?
Q: Do you recall whether he spoke English?
A: No, I don't.
Q: Who is the person to your right?
A: Do you want me to go to the next photograph?
Q: No, I'm sorry. In the same photograph, there --
MR. TIMBERLAKE: They may in a different order. So, I apologize.
THE WITNESS: Well, the person to my right is Hsing Yun, who is --
BY MR. CONRAD:
Q: Were you looking at this photograph (indicating)?
A: I was.
Q: Now, turning your attention to the next photograph, the person to your right is --
A: Hsing Yun.
Q: -- Hsing Yun? Now, if you would look at the next photograph in that exhibit --
A: That's Maria Hsia.
Q: Do you recall any conversation that you had with Maria Hsia at the Temple event?
A: No. No, I don't.
Q: And then finally, the photograph of a number of people --
A: That's Yvonne Burke, who is a Los Angeles County Commissioner.
Q: The person to the right of Maria Hsia?
A: Right. I don't recognize the other two. Don Knabe, another Los Angeles County Commissioner was also there. He's a Republican member of the Commission. Odd that he would attend a DNC event and certainly unthinkable in my mind that he would attend a DNC fund-raising event. Would you think he would pay the DNC ---
MR. NEAL: Mr. Vice President?
THE WITNESS: Okay, sorry.
BY MR. CONRAD:
Q: Mr. Vice President, in the interests of time, I'm going to strike a number of pages out of this outline and move forward to a few questions about a woman you had mentioned earlier, Pauline Kanchanalak.
Q: How do you know her?
A: I don't know when I first met her, but it would have been at either a DSCC or a DNC fund-raising event. I'm speculating there, but that's the kind of event that she went to. I remember going to one event for or a Senate candidate who I was trying to help and Pauline Kanchanalak was at that fund-raising event.
A: And I presumed that she was helping the DSCC, as many about town do. I believe her to be a lobbyist, and many lobbyists help the Democratic and Republican Senate committees.
Q: What is your relationship with her, other than seeing her at events such as --
A: That's it.
Q: Approximately how many times have you -
A: Seen her?
Q: -- seen her?
A: Been with her?
A: I would say half a dozen. She contacted my office to ask for a meeting with somebody related to Thailand. And I'm remembering partly from refreshed recollection to prepare for this meeting, but I think that she was also somehow involved with a reception that followed a meeting with somebody else from Thailand. I just --
Q: What timeframe are we talking about, to the best of your knowledge?
A: Last century. No, I'm sorry. It would be, it would be sometime between '93 and '96, I guess.
Q: Pre election cycle?
A: I think so. I think so.
Q: You're aware of the coffee in June of '96 that she attended with people from Thailand. You weren't in attendance, but are you familiar with --
A: Only, only from news accounts.
A: And I really have not --
Q: I'm just using that as a marker.
Q: Was what you're talking about sometime prior to that?
A: I think before that, yes.
Q: Would it have had anything to do with the United Thailand Business Council?
A: I mean, I say that because of refreshed recollection. I saw a document that I believe you provided yesterday.
Q: Have you had any substantive conversations with Pauline Kanchanalak?
A: No. No.
Q: What was your knowledge of her fund-raising history?
A: I knew that she raised money for Marjorie Margolis Mezvinsky. I assumed that she was one of the many people who contributed $1,000, or however much to come to these events, but she didn't particularly stand out for any reason. I don't have any special memory of her.
Q: Did you know that she was a DNC managing trustee, or on the --
A: I did not know that.
Q: -- finance committee?
A: But there are, I mean there are lots of such people. That's a, that's a title that goes with, I don't know, giving or raising $25,000 or something like that.
Q: Do you know Jeb Kanchanalak, her husband?
Q: Do you have any knowledge of a Thailand business called CP Group?
Q: Do you know Georgie Kronenberg?
A: I don't think so.
Q: Did you have anything to do with the coffee on June 18th of --
Q: -- 1996? With respect to the fund-raising event for Marjorie Margolis Mezvinsky, did you attend that event?
A: I did.
Q: Who asked you to attend?
A: I don't know. But it would have been -- what was the date of that, if I may ask?
Q: I think it was sometime in 1993, September of '93.
Q: She was a very high priority for me and for the President, because she had -- you may remember this. The budget plan passed by one vote, and she was the last one, and the object of a lot of persuasion. And she said, look, if I do this, I'm going to lose my seat, and she turned out to be right. But it was an act of courage.
And because she showed political courage, both the President and I were anxious to try to help her. And so whoever asked me, it wouldn't have taken anybody special to ask me to go to her event, because I, I admired her political courage, and I wanted to help her and ease her fears that she was going to lose next time around because of what she did.
Q: Do you recall any conversation with Pauline Kanchanalak at that event?
Q: I want to ask you a few followup questions with respect to James Riady.
Q: You mentioned that he didn't make the trip in '89 to Taiwan.
Q: When is the first time you ever met James Riady?
A: To my knowledge, I have only seen him twice in my life. I may be wrong about this. There may be other times that I'm not thinking, that I'm not remembering.
But the only times -- I think the only times I've met him were once when he was in Betty Currie's office preparing to go in to see the President with a couple of other people.
Q: Did you know who those people were?
A: No, I did not. I was on the way out. And either he introduced himself or somebody introduced him to me. The only other time I --
Q: Before you get to the other time, do you recall the substance of any conversation with him at that time?
A: Hello, how are you. I said, you know, I've heard your name. That was it. The door was open. It was one of these deals.
Q: What about the second time?
A: The second time was in Malaysia. I filled in for the President at the last minute for a trip to Kuala Kumpur for a meeting of the Asian Pacific -
Q: Economic Council?
A: Yes, APEC.
A: And in conjunction with that event, which was hosted by Mahathir, the leader of Malaysia, there was a cultural event where all of the heads of state and their stand-ins -- of which I think I was the only stand-in -- all went to this big dinner and they had a dance, kind of a show. And he came up to me during that and said, introduced himself again, and said, hello, how are you. I said, fine, hello, how are you. It was just -- that was the substance of it.
And I took it from the circumstances that he was one of the hosts or underwriters of the cultural event. It's typical when governments put on deals like these that they will get people in the private sector to help finance the shindigs that go along with them. And that's what I assumed.
Q: Any substantive conversation with Mr. Riady?
Q: And no other meetings that you remember?
A: No, not that I remember.
Q: Did you have conversations with the President about who Mr. Riady was?
Q: Did you have any understanding of his background, where he lived, what he did for a living, that type of thing?
A: I knew that he was a businessman in Indonesia. And later on I knew that he had some relationship to the President in Arkansas. I heard that discussed. But I did not know the details of it.
Q: Mr. Riady has been fairly active, some would say aggressive, in his courting of other political people. But I take it from the testimony that you've provided today that you weren't one of them?
A: No. I think that -- no. Unless you count his role evidently in the background of organizing that trip to Taiwan, but I never saw him or talked to him there.
Q: We provided documents to your attorney earlier that involved substantive, for the lack of a better word, wish-list items that Mr. Riady has communicated to other political people. Did you review that in preparation for your testimony here? We're not going to spend a lot of time on it.
THE WITNESS: Did I see that? Did I go over that?
MS. BROWN: The Tim Wirth --
THE WITNESS: Yes. I never saw that before.
BY MR. CONRAD:
Q: You never had contacts like that with -
A: Nothing like that.
Q: -- Mr. Riady?
A: Nothing like that.
Q: You never discussed the Most Favored Nation -
A: No. time was on the Banking Committee, and I don't know if those others were.
Q: Did you ever meet his father, Mochtar Riady?
Q: Did you ever have dealings with any of the Lippo -
A: Not to my knowledge. Not to my knowledge.
Q: The Lippo Group, is that a -
Q: -- name that's familiar to you?
A: Oh, of course, from the news. But, no, I never had any dealings with them.
Q: At least based on your previous testimony, you had no knowledge of any financial sponsorship by Mr. Riady of a portion of the '89 trip to Asia?
A: I don't think so. I don't think so. Again, the sponsorship was submitted to the Senate Ethics Committee for review, and that drained me of any sense of urgency about inquiring into the details, because I assumed that it had been looked at thoroughly. And so I -- if, in the course of that, somebody told me that he was a sponsor of it, I do not recall that.
Q: In 1992, the Worthen Bank in Arkansas extended a line of credit to the Clinton-Gore campaign. Are you familiar with that?
A: I am not. First I've heard of it.
Q: So, you had no conversation with the President concerning --
Q: -- that extension of credit?
Q: Also in August of 1992, Mr. Riady made certain financial fund-raising commitments to the President. Did you ever have any discussion with the President about the fund-raising role of Mr. Riady in --
Q: -- the 1992 election cycle?
Q: Have you had any conversation with the President about Mr. Riady?
A: I have heard the President talk about his friendship with Mr. Riady.
A: And it's my impression that usually this would come in some conversation where he was commenting on some newspaper article accusing him of this or that, and he would talk about the nature of the friendship and -
Q: Well, prior to the controversy surrounding -
A: No, not -
Q: -- the media coverage, did you and the President have -
A: I don't believe so. No.
Q: -- any conversations?
Q: Is the name China Resources familiar to you?
A: From the news. But not other than from the news story.
Q: You don't know of any connection between China Resources and Mr. Riady or -
Q: -- the Lippo Group?
A: No, I don't.
Q: Are you familiar with an individual, the chairman of that group, named Shen Juren?
Q: Are you aware of a meeting --
A: Now, I was told yesterday in preparation for this meeting that -- I can't even remember now from yesterday. But I have no independent recollection of him.
Q: There is some information that in 1993 your chief of staff, Jack quinn, met with Shen Juren?
A: I have no memory of what was, of the story that was briefed to me. It was in preparation for this meeting that others recall him passing me outside the office in the hallway. I do not have any recollection of that. That kind of thing happens on some days many times a day. And it would not be the kind of thing that I would, that would stick in my mind.
Q: I want to ask you a series of questions concerning White House e-mail. What is your knowledge, sitting here today, of the issues surrounding the White House e-mail system's failure to archive messages?
A: I have no idea. I have read the recent news stories. That is the first time that I knew that some of the e-mail that I assumed was being stored was apparently not stored, or at least wasn't stored in the form that it was supposed to be stored in.
Q: There are actually two issues. One is the failure of the White House e-mail system to store or archive e-mail messages from approximately a time period of -- I think it was discovered in June of '98 and corrected sometime in 1999. Prior to the public treatment of that issue, did you have any knowledge of that problem?
Q: There's also an issue as to whether the Office of the Vice President e-mail system archived messages in the way it was supposed to. Do you have any knowledge about that issue?
A: That also came as a surprise to me, partly because we have produced a hell of a lot of e-mail.
Q: You'll notice in the e-mail messages we went through that the only ones, actually the only one that came from your e-mail address was in response to an email sent to you. We don't have any firsthand e-mail messages that you sent. When is the first time that you became aware that your system was not archiving your personal e-mail messages?
A: Last week. Or two weeks ago, three weeks ago? Whenever the newspaper story broke.
Q: All right. When a subpoena, such as a Campaign Finance Task Force subpoena, is sent to your office requesting documents of which e-mail messages would be responsive, how is a search for those documents conducted?
A: The staff conducts the search. And then if it is a request for which they have some reason to believe it may be on my personal machine alone, then they ask me if I will look at my e-mail, which I have done several times in response to requests from counsel.
Q: Has anybody, in conducting that type of search, or you, yourself, personally discovered that there were responsive e-mails that had not been --
A: Properly stored?
Q: -- stored?
Q: Now, I think you indicated that the first time that you became aware of the e-mail issue was by news reports?
Q: Have you had conversations within the White House?
A: Yes. Let me amend that. I think immediately prior to the news reports I was informed by counsel that there is, we've just found out, et cetera, et cetera. But it was contemporaneous with the news reports. Since that time, I have had conversations, yes, with my chief of staff, and with my counsel.
Q: Have you had any conversations with Charles Ruff prior to --
Q: -- the media attention on the e-mail issue?
A: No. Not about that.
Q: Right. And the same, how about for Mark Lindsey?
Q: When is the first time you became aware that anybody within the White House was aware of the problem?
A: First time? Same answer.
Q: Contemporaneous with the -
Q: -- media treatment?
Q: Prior to that time, did you have any conversation with John Podesta -
Q: -- about the failure to archive?
Q: You are not aware of any efforts to correct the e-mail problem after its discovery in June of 1998?
Q: Are you aware of any effort to notify investigative bodies that compliance with their subpoena requests might have been impaired by the failure of the system to archive e-mail messages?
Q: Apparently there was a problem that was identified by some independent contractors. It was raised with certain White House employees. But, as far as you know, it was never raised at your level? Is that a fair assessment?
A: I know it was never raised at my level.
MR. NEAL: You mean you. There is somebody above you. I know you won't believe this, but --
THE WITNESS: When I said at my level, I did not -- did I say that my level is the top level?
MR. NEAL: I'm just trying to lighten the atmosphere.
THE WITNESS: You're a little rusty, counsel.
BY MR. CONRAD:
Q: Have you had discussions with anybody in the White House with respect to current attempts to discover your e-mail messages which might be responsive --
Q: -- to subpoenas? Who have you discussed ---
A: Charles Burson, my chief of staff and former counsel; Lisa, who is here with us; and I believe that's it.
Q: And do you know whether or not there has been a success in retrieving --
A: What I have been told is that they believe that most or all are likely to be recovered, but that it is a laborious project that will take a matter of months. That's what I have been told.
Q: And who have you been told that by?
A: Charles Burson and Lisa Brown.
Q: With respect to certain allegations by Northrup Grumman employees of threats made against them if they disclose the existence of the e-mail problem, did anybody bring that your attention prior to news coverage?
Q: The name Howard Glicken, is that familiar to you?
A: Yes, it is.
q Who is Howard Glicken?
A: He is a businessman in South Florida who was a supporter and campaign contributor to me. He was the Florida State chair, state finance chair, of my race for President in 1988. He was a member of the Residence Foundation that helps to maintain this facility that we're in now. He has over the years helped to organize several fund-raising events and he has contributed, and I believe his wife has also, to my campaigns for Senate and President and Vice President.
Q: Has he visited you in the White House on occasion?
A: I believe that he has, yes. Not recently, of course, by in earlier years, yes.
Q: Were those personal visits, or were they more in the nature of substantive policy or business reasons for visits?
A: You know, I don't really recall the specific visits. But the feeling I have is that he was certainly interested in policy, and Latin America, in particular. But it would usually be a friendly personal meeting. But he would find a way to bring up some concern related to Latin America. That's my impression.
He also helped with the Summit of the Americas, which was an event that the United States hosted in Miami, I believe in December of '94, and I think that he played a prominent role in helping to raise private funds for the, again, the shindigs that accompanied the official meetings.
Q: Did he ever discuss with you raising or illegally contributing funds to the --
A: Of course not.
Q: -- Clinton-Gore campaign? Does he really have GORE 1 and GORE 2 on the license plates of his Jaguars?
A: He really did. I remember -- I was talking to Jim and Lisa about this yesterday. I remember when I first became aware that he and his wife had those license plates, and I thought, geez, this is a little over the top here. But you meet people in politics who are over the top in their enthusiasm, and they get, you know, real enthusiastic and so forth.
But, as I was telling them privately yesterday, that kind of made me think that there's something a little out of the ordinary here, even though it was consistent with what a lot of people do. I mean, I can show you people that so enthusiastic that they do -- they paint their faces, you know. But, anyway.
Q: Charlie Trie.
A That one, to my knowledge, I do not know. I may well have been introduced to him at a large event, but I have no knowledge of it. I kind of think that he was in a long line of people that came through a receiving line at one of the big California events. And I have a vague memory of the President saying to me, this is my friend, Charlie Trie; he's from Arkansas. I have a vague memory of that. But --
Q: No substantive conversations with --- A No.
Q: -- him about --
A: Absolutely not.
Q: -- fund-raising or any other ---
A: Absolutely not.
Q: Ted Sioeng, you previously testified you've seen him twice?
A: I don't even know if he speaks English.
Q: David Chang?
A: The name does not ring a bell.
Q: A New Jersey businessman with dealings in Korea and other places?
MR. CONRAD: If I may just have a moment?
MR. NEAL: Sure.
MR. CONRAD: We are done. I appreciate your time.
(Whereupon, at 5:10 p.m., the proceedings were concluded.)
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