by WorldTribune Staff, February 26, 2017
A Chinese-American businessman who admitted to illegally funneling campaign cash from China to the Clintons said he was forced into hiding and feared being assassinated after confessing to the crime.
Johnny Chung said he secretly filmed a tell-all video as an “insurance policy” – because he feared for his life. In footage provided exclusively to DailyMail.com, Johnny Chung detailed how he illegally funneled money from Chinese officials to Bill Clinton’s 1996 re-election bid.
Chung, who is believed to still be alive and living in China, said he recorded the “elaborate videotaped testimony” while in hiding in 2000.
According to the DailyMail report, Chung’s video was obtained by author and historian Doug Wead for his new book “Game of Thorns”, which traces Hillary Clinton’s losing presidential bid and the Chinese government’s “long-running operation to buy political influence in Washington.”
In the video, Chung claims Democrats pressured him to stay silent about his dealings with the Clintons and said the FBI tried to enlist him in a sting against a top Chinese general at a Los Angeles airport.
Evidence surfaced in the mid-1990s that Chinese officials were funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars into Bill Clinton’s re-election campaign through American straw donors.
Chung, one of the main players in the “Chinagate” scandal, was accused of giving over $300,000 to the Democratic National Committee on behalf of the head of China’s military intelligence agency during Clinton’s successful re-election bid.
During the mid-1990s, Chung met regularly in Washington with key Clinton officials and other Democrats – but none seemed suspicious about how the relatively unknown small-time businessman was able to cut them such large donation checks.
In total he visited the White House 57 times in a two-year span – eight of these meetings were “off the books.”
Most of the meetings were with Hillary Clinton or her staff. During one of these trips, Chung personally handed a $50,000 check to Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff Maggie Williams.
Chung cooperated with the Department of Justice during the investigation and in 1998 was sentenced to five years probation for campaign finance violations, bank fraud and tax evasion.
According to Wead’s book, Chung was persuaded to film the “insurance” video by a former government official who visited him while he was in hiding and told him that his “odds of survival actually increased by going public.”
Chung “received a friendly visit from a retired government official, friendly with the FBI, who perhaps felt guilty about the treatment Chung had been given after agreeing to come forward and tell the truth,” Wead said.
“And so, with assistance from the former government official, Johnny Chung produced an elaborate videotaped testimony that was secreted to friends and family to be forwarded to the media in the case of his death.”
Chung described on the tape how Democrats on the House Committee on Government Reform tried to dissuade him from testifying publicly before the committee by sending his attorney a letter telling him he could plead the Fifth Amendment.
Chung said his attorney thought the letter was “ludicrous” and a veiled threat from Washington Democrats that they wanted Chung to stay quiet.
“My attorney is a fine and good attorney in the West Coast,” said Chung. “Besides, every good American attorney, they know how to take the Fifth…[the Democrats] sent a package to my attorney for one purpose.”
The FBI in Los Angeles began providing around-the-clock protection for Chung, but just a few days before he was scheduled to testify before a grand jury, the FBI headquarters in Washington called off the protection detail and told Chung he would have to make the trip alone.
In the secret videotaped statement, Chung claimed the Department of Justice dismissed his safety concerns – with one U.S. attorney telling him to “call 911” if he felt threatened.
“I called the FBI office and offered to [speak with] the U.S. assistant attorney again on the phone,” said Chung.
“And he said ‘Mr. Chung your case is over. As a normal American citizen what do you do if you feel your life is in danger? You just call 911.’ ”
Chung ended up testifying, telling the House committee that he believed the Clintons “used me as much as I used them.”