Tongsun Park denied yesterday that he is becoming increasingly evasive with House investigators about alleged efforts to buy influence in Congress.
"I may sound evasive, but that is not my intention," Park said. "My desire is to tell the complete truth."
Several members of the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, including Reps. Bruce Caputo (R-N.Y.) and Millicent Fenwick (R-N.J.), said after Wednesday's closed-door questioning that Park was increasingly evasive and sometimes angry.
Another member said Park was particularly evasive about whether he tried to buy influence in Congress as an agent for the South Korean government and not simply to help his own rice business.
The millionaire businessman says he gave campaign contributions only to members of Congress who were friends to help in his business dealings.
Park walked over to reporters after questioning yesterday to deny that he was being evasive. But, as he has all week, he refused to answer questions on specific allegations.
He said the committee investigators' questions "continue to be very tough."
"A witness does not like to face such tough questions," Park said, "but I'm glad they are being tough so once and for all we can get the truth out."
The question of whether Park was a South Korean agent is important because the Constitution prohibits members of Congress from taking money from a foreign agent. But until 1974, it was legal to accept contribution from a foreign businessman.