Campaign-Finance Figure Returns To U.S.
Pauline Kanchanalak expected to plead innocent Wednesday
By Terry Frieden/CNN
WASHINGTON (July 28) -- Thai businesswoman Pauline Kanchanalak, charged in the Justice Department's campaign fund-raising investigation, arrived in Washington from Thailand Tuesday, and is expected to plead not guilty in U.S. District Court in Washington Wednesday, CNN has learned.
Sources say Kanchanalak returned voluntarily, but there were no
indications the former Democratic fund-raiser had reached a plea agreement with prosecutors.
Kanchanalak was indicted two weeks ago for allegedly steering more than $600,000 dollars in illegal overseas campaign contributions to the
Democratic National Committee (DNC). Kanchanalak's sister-in-law, Duangnet "Georgia"
Kronenberg, was also indicted in the case.
The 24-count indictment by the Justice Department's campaign finance task
force accuses Kanchanalak of using the contributions to gain access to top
Clinton administration officials. Kanchanalak is charged with providing large
checks to the DNC the same day she brought Asian business associates to a
coffee with President Bill Clinton in the White House in 1996.
Kanchanalak's attorneys have insisted she is not guilty of the charges and will be vindicated. Kanchanalak lawyer Erik Kitchen said he had no comment on the matter.
Following her July 13 indictment, Kitchen issued a statement saying he
believed "she will ultimately be vindicated in this matter."