On the wall of Hsiao Yen Wang’s apartment, a cramped, 17th-floor public housing unit on the city’s Lower East Side, are photographs of her husband, David Guo, a cook who specializes in Fujian cuisine. One photo stands out: Guo shaking Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s hand, a memento from a $1,000-a-person fundraiser for the New York senator held in New York’s Chinatown last April.
Last week, Wang got another memento — a calling card from a Justice Department criminal investigator. The investigator asked Wang if she was coerced into giving money to the campaign and whether she knew of anybody else who may have been forced to contribute. In an interview with The Associated Press, Wang said she and her husband had given willingly and that she knew of no coercion. A Justice Department spokeswoman would not comment on the inquiries.
Scott Horton with the context:
Back on September 22, 2007, I reported on information I had received about a major campaign which had been launched by the Bush Justice Department to disrupt fundraising efforts by John Edwards’s presidential campaign—a project which antedated the 2004 presidential election and was marked by attorney-general level authorizations, and a vast redeployment of resources. It was, I am told, “a diversion of tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to block tens of millions of campaign contributions to the enemy.” The “enemy” in this case, being, as usual, the Democratic Party. Dollar for dollar, not an investment of taxpayer money that the increasingly Democratic electorate is likely to find amusing. Hence the Justice Department’s attitude of keeping the whole program deep under wraps.
When I ran the story, I got a number of comments—some of them from folks at Justice—telling me that the report was “too narrow,” that the target was not just John Edwards, but also Hillary Clinton.
What to think about that? Over to you, Ted Olsen:
[I]t is one of the most important responsibilities of the attorney general to insist that the line between national policy and personal advantage never be crossed. Whenever that barrier has been breached in the past, whenever politics has permeated the decision-making or the atmosphere at the Department of Justice, as occurred in Watergate, the consequences for the nation have been grave.
Alas, if only those brave Republican defenders of DoJ independence had been allowed to run the country.