And now, the Web site we've all been waiting for: www.JohnnyChung.com, put up just the other day by the Los Angeles businessman himself, a major figure in the 1996 Clinton campaign fund-raising scandal.
Johnny Chung, a Taiwan-born American citizen, gave nearly $400,000 to Democrats from 1994 to 1996, including $100,000 from a Chinese military intelligence officer, and visited the White House nearly 50 times, often with Chinese business clients.
After cooperating with prosecutors, Chung was sentenced in December to five years' probation. He called the House Government Reform Committee the other day asking for pictures the panel might have of him from his May 11 hearing so he could put them on his site.
"We're thinking about it," a committee spokesman deadpanned. "We want to make sure he uses only our best sides."
But Chung tells us he doesn't want signed pictures with Chairman Dan Burton (R-Ind.) and other members to go along with those of President Clinton, first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and Vice President Gore that he's already put on the Web site.
"I have lots of pictures" like those, he said when we called. He wanted pictures of him testifying. "Everyone in the whole world has my testimony pictures except me."
Why the Web site? He said his 18-year-old daughter asked him to do it. " 'Dad, no matter whether you like it or not,' " he quoted her as saying, " 'this is part of American history.' "
Chung, doing 3,000 hours of community service--he wouldn't say where because he was worried about his security--and trying to put his "destroyed" business back together, also faulted the news media for not "coming out with everything I said in the Congress. So it was a good idea to put it up on the site." Of all those implicated in the scandal, Chung claimed, "I am the one and only one so far to come out and tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth."
So far, only his opening statement to the committee and some pictures are posted. Here's our favorite part:
"I next saw [Chinese military intelligence] General Ji's wife when she came back to the United States with her son. I set up their attendance at a Presidential fundraiser, the 'Back to the Future' event, at a California movie studio on October 17, 1996. I took my driver and secretary as well as the General's wife and Alex [the son] to meet the President. There was a mix-up with the DNC [Democratic National Committee] and my driver and secretary were given a private audience with the President while me and the General's wife and son were not included. While my driver and secretary were very appreciative, I was very upset."
Unclear if Clinton was bothered by it.
Quayle: The Potato Error Is Now History
There was former vice president Dan Quayle on CNN's "Inside Politics" Wednesday night, talking about his presidential bid. "And what about the old Dan Quayle image?" reporter Bruce Morton asked on the videotaped segment. "The press criticism, the man who misspelled 'potato'? Quayle says he doesn't hear much about that anymore."
"The media put me in a big hole," Quayle said, "but we're doing very well. As a matter of fact, the media . . . have been very fair this time around," Quayle said. He ripped into Clinton, saying Clinton "has done more damage to the White House than anyone since the British burned it in 1812."
That would be in 1814.
A Gramm's-Eye View of the Y2K Bug
Senate Banking Committee Chairman Phil Gramm (R-Tex.) is confident the U.S. banking system will be able to handle any Y2K computer problems. "Well, it seems to me we ought to be encouraged that in the year 1000, they had to add a new digit, and yet no evidence of economic disruption," Gramm noted at a Wednesday hearing with Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan.
"And then a millennium before, we had dates going down, and then they started going up," Gramm continued as the laughter began, "and yet no evidence of disruption or chaos in the economy. So if they could do it then, surely we can deal with it now, it seems to me." Sounds about right.
Fast Action on Hatch's Pal
New definition of rocket-docket:
Some Clinton judicial nominees languish years while the Senate most carefully considers their credentials. Others are more fortunate. Take Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin G. Hatch's pal, Utah lawyer Ted Stewart. President Clinton, faced with Hatch shutting down the committee unless Stewart were nominated, backed down Tuesday evening and nominated Stewart over the opposition of enviros and liberals.
Yesterday, the committee not only held a quick hearing on Stewart but then amazingly voted to send the nomination to the full Senate. "The whole thing happened so quickly," said one liberal opponent watching the event.
The committee also approved several other nominations including that of Maryanne Trump Barry--a Reagan-appointed district judge and sister of The Donald--to an appeals court seat and those of former associate attorney general Raymond Fisher and District Judge Richard Paez to the court of appeals in California.