The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


Fugitive Fundraiser Now in Jail

Just a week ago, businessman Norman Hsu was a free man, and little known by most Americans. Then came stories about his fundraising for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, which generated just enough national limelight to remind California authorities he skipped out on a criminal case 15 years ago. Now Hsu could spend the Labor Day weekend in a San Mateo, Calif., jail.

Hsu, who runs a New York apparel business, surrendered to California authorities today to answer the early 1990s charge and San Mateo County Superior Court Judge H. James Ellis ordered him held on $2 million bond until a hearing next Wednesday, his Washington lawyer said.

"He did turn himself in to the folks in San Mateo, and is being held over the weekend, at least until a bail hearing on Wednesday," attorney Lawrence Barcella said.

Hsu had been a fugitive since a warrant was issued for his arrest after he skipped sentencing for a 1991 grand theft charge. He became a major fundraiser for Democrats like Clinton. When his fundraising work was highlighted by The Wall Street Journal earlier this week, the Los Angeles Times followed up with a story on the outstanding warrant.

"He had pleaded no contest to the theft charge and then ended up not showing up for the sentencing and that will resolve itself however it resolves itself," Barcella explained.

Numerous candidates who received donations from Hsu have since given the money back or donated it to charity. Clinton's campaign announced Wednesday it would donate to charity $23,000 in contributions that Hsu made to her presidential and senatorial campaigns and her political action committee. Sen. Barack Obama's campaign also announced it was giving back $7,000 Hsu had donated to Obama's causes over the years.

Barcella said he suspects all the publicity resulted in Hsu being held on a higher bail than normal. "The higher the visibility is the lower chances of doing something like this normally," he said.

--John Solomon

Posted at 2:59 PM ET on Aug 31, 2007
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NORMAN HSU, a 'scammer' and self-confessed felon and a fugitive for 15 years - was blithely 'giving away' $MILLIONS to the DEMBHOLE OARTY and its cruddy candidates - and just like HILLARY 'didn't know' about her 'pretend-husband' sexual kinky affairs with 'FATTY MONICA' and others - HILLARY didn't know this HSU guy 'used' others to launder his 'donations' to the DEMBHOLES??? Certainly a 'brilliant' person to be the DEMBHOLE NOMINEE for PREZ eh??? Maybe HILLARY can now become an honorary 'NATIVE AMERICAN INDIAN' they can rename HILLARY - 'stupid DEMBHOLE woman' WHO SEES NOTHING???!!! Ha! BRING ON MORE CHI-COM DONOURS LIKE CHARLIE TRE GAVE BAGFULS OF POSTAL MONEY ORDERS TO 'D^CKHEAD' - AND THEN ALL DISAPPEARED!!!

Posted by: ZyskandarAJaimot | September 1, 2007 8:49 AM

If a Republican fund raiser was jailed, the Post would demand that the candidate resign their campaign on page 1. But they bury anything negative about Her Royal Coronation.

Posted by: thuff7 | August 31, 2007 11:02 PM

What is experience worth if you don't learn from it? The Clinton fundraising scandals occupied the last 2 months of the '96 election; there were guilty pleas; donors fled the country; there were connections with sale of military technology to the Chinese. And here she is again with a close association with an unsavory character in order to get money from him.

Equally shocking is Bob Kerrey bringing this man in as a trustee of the New School without doing any background checking. Hsu is getting a lot of money from somewhere but its not at all clear where: offices he goes to once every few months, phony addresses.

Everyone kissed up to this crook for money.

A commenter on another blog mentioned that Bernard Schwartz, former head of Loral Communications and a figure from the first Clinton donor scandal, is also a trustee of the New School.

It would be very interesting if reporters could nail down how he first got entree, who it was that brought him in. Was it Schwartz?

Posted by: Malia2 | August 31, 2007 9:50 PM

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