Senators To Hear More Democratic Witnesses
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, July 25) -- After hearing spirited testimony from former Republican National Committee chairman Haley Barbour, senators today will conclude three days of Democratic witnesses in the probe of campaign fund-raising.
Hearings are set to resume today at 10:00 a.m. EDT with possible testimony from another former RNC chairman, Richard Richards, who represented Hong Kong businessman Ambrous Young of Young Brothers USA in his loan dispute with the National Policy Forum, a GOP think tank chaired by Barbour.
Though Richards' vacation plans had to be changed to accomodate the hearing schedule, there was some speculation that Democrats might not call him after all to testify.
Thursday, Barbour was adamant that a $2.1 million loan guarantee for NPF, $1.5 million of which was used to repay a debt to the RNC in October 1994, was proper, and that "not a cent, not a red cent" was used for campaigns.
NPF defaulted on the loan, issued by Signet Bank in Virginia, and if called to testify, Richards is likely to be asked about his efforts to have Barbour take responsibility for the debt. Young currently has lost $800,000 on the deal.
And senators will likely review a letter Richards wrote to Barbour last year, where Richards recalled the reason for the loan was, "to help pick up 60 targeted House seats."
Also appearing before the committee will be Boston U.S. attorney Donald Stern who will detail the case of Boston businessman Simon Fireman, who pled guilty to funneling $120,000 to GOP presidential candidate Bob Dole, former president George Bush's 1992 campaign, and a group in support of Massachusetts's Democratic Rep. Joe Kennedy.
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