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Mar 23

Written by: Diana West
Thursday, March 23, 2017 6:22 AM 

The following timeline appeared in an "Infobox" in the Los Angeles Times on April 4, 1999.

It is a timeline of what one vector of foreign influence on a presidential election and presidency looks like.

Chung and China


Aug. 2

Chung gives his first $11,000 to the Democratic National Committee at President Clinton's 48th birthday party. He will donate a total of $366,000 to the DNC by the 1996 election.

Dec. 20

Chung squires a Chinese beer maker to meet Clinton at a White House Christmas party, helping to establish Chung's ability to get Chinese access to Clinton. He will make 50 White House visits.


March 11

Chung brings six business associates to the Oval Office for Clinton's weekly radio address.



Chung visits China and meets Liu Chaoying, a lieutenant colonel in the Chinese military and an executive of a Chinese government-owned aerospace company.

July 18

After helping Liu obtain a visa, Chung brings Liu to a Democratic fund-raising dinner with Clinton at a private home in Los Angeles.

Aug. 9

Chung and Liu form Marswell Investment Inc. in Torrance, Calif.

Aug. 11

In Hong Kong, Liu introduces Chung to Gen. Ji Shengde, chief of Chinese military intelligence. Ji, using an assumed name, asks Chung to act as a conduit for campaign donations to help reelect Clinton.

Aug. 14

A $300,000 wire transfer arrives in Chung's Hong Kong bank account sent by Liu at the direction of Ji. Chung later donates a portion of these funds to the DNC.


Chung returns to China, where he meets Liu and Ji again.



Chung gives access to his Hong Kong bank account to federal investigators to assist their efforts to trace the $300,000 to its origins.


Chung opens formal negotiations with prosecutors and does first of numerous interviews with them.


March 5

Chung agrees to plead guilty to felony tax evasion and bank fraud unrelated to fund-raising and misdemeanor election law violations.


An associate of Liu offers money and a veiled threat to persuade Chung to keep silent about his contacts with Ji. The FBI records the encounter on a hidden video camera. Chung, wearing an FBI wire, meets with the Liu associate periodically over the next several months.

May 15

The New York Times reports that Chung told federal investigators that the Chinese army was the source of funds given him by Liu for 1996 Democratic contributions.

Fearing for Chung's safety, the FBI abruptly takes him and his family to hotels near Los Angeles International Airport, where they are protected by heavily armed agents for 21 days.


The FBI monitors two groups of Chinese visitors traveling in Southern California, at least one of which was regarded by intelligence operatives as a possible "hit squad." No attempt is made to harm Chung or his family.

Dec. 15

U.S. District Judge Manuel L. Real sentences Chung to five years' probation for funneling illegal contributions into the 1996 election campaign. Real says he's "surprised that the attorney general has eschewed appointment of a special prosecutor." The Justice Department endorses a lesser sentence than called for by federal guidelines because Chung provided valuable leads.



News accounts that the Chinese stole sensitive nuclear technology from the Los Alamos laboratory trigger charges that the Clinton administration was slow to address suspicions of espionage or inform Congress because it did not want to damage relations with Beijing.

April 8

Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji is set to meet Clinton at White House.


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