Gavel To Gavel

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Gavel To Gavel: Fund-Raising Hearings

Sullivan To Be Lone Fund-Raising Witness

He'll likely face questions about Thai businesswoman Kanchanalak


WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, July 10) -- After an initial session that yielded few surprises, senators investigating campaign fund-raising have readied a second day of questions for former Democratic National Committee finance director Richard Sullivan.

The 33-year-old Sullivan is expected to be the panel's sole witness today, as he was Wednesday. Wednesday's questions centered on how John Huang came to be hired as a DNC fund-raiser; today Sullivan will likely be queried on his dealings with Thai businesswoman Pauline Kanchanalak, whose $235,000 in donations to the DNC the party returned.

Sullivan told investigators in a deposition taken before this week's public hearings how Kanchanalak had insisted on taking five executives from a Thai conglomerate to one of the now-infamous White House coffees in June 1996. "She is very high-maintenance," Sullivan said.


In the deposition Sullivan said he was skeptical about "the political appearance of three foreigners in one of these coffees, I had a concern about [that]," he said.

On Wednesday, Sullivan insisted the 107 White House coffees were not fund-raisers, an assertion that tested the patience of several Republicans on the panel. The issue will likely come up again today, since Kanchanalak donated $85,000 the same day, June 18, she attended a coffee event.

Regarding Huang's hiring, Sullivan recounted Wednesday that he and former DNC finance chairman Marvin Rosen interviewed Huang after Rosen had been telephoned twice by former deputy White House chief of staff Harold Ickes.


Though senators pushed Sullivan on the importance of a phone call from President Bill Clinton to Rosen on Huang's behalf, which came to light last month, Sullivan said he had only learned after the election about the president's interest.

Today's hearing is expected to stretch into the early afternoon, with the panel recessing until next Tuesday. Members are expected to consider Huang's request for immunity in closed session. Attorney General Janet Reno, whose department is investigating Huang, has opposed immunizing him.

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