This is FRONTLINE's old website. The content here may be outdated or no longer functioning.

Browse over 300 documentaries
on our current website.

Watch Now
Washington's Other Scandal | frontline online
navigation, see below white house timeline

This chronology of DNC/White House fundraising planning and activity was assembled during the production research of FRONTLINE's "Washington's Other Scandal." Dates, events and specific quotes were drawn from the White House tapes, from the Morris memos, from the Senate Committee report, from depositions and testimony given to Senate investigators, from news reports, and from a wide array of documents subpoenaed by the Senate Committee - including Harold Ickes' thousands of pages of files.

[POTUS=President of the US; VPOTUS=Vice President of the US; FLOTUS=First Lady of the US; C/G=Clinton/Gore]

11/8/94POTUS  Election day. Republicans recapture both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Commentators and politicians describe the vote as a national repudiation of the Clinton presidency.

11/9/94Morris  Day after the midterm election, Clinton and political strategist Dick Morris talk and begin to strategize about '96.

12/2/94Ickes  Memo to Panetta re "DNC Financial Situation." The money conversation begins. A litany of problems & shortfalls. "In short, there are very serious money problems to deal with."

12/19/94Chung  Johnny Chung visits White House, same day FEC records show DNC receipt of $40,000.

1/11/95COFFEE  White House Coffee, hosted by POTUS.

1/?/95Trie  On or about January 95, Yah Lin "Charlie" Trie accepted a position on the DNC Finance Board of Directors and promised to raise $350,000.

1/6/95Chung  In his newsletter to shareholders of AISI, Chung says he had, "built up connections to easily arrange visitations to the White House and meetings with the President.''

1/6/95Enright/Ickes  A memo from Janis Enright to Ickes re: McAuliffe's memorandum summing up requests that emerged from his one-on-one with POTUS. Attached to the Enright memo is Nancy Heinrich's copy of McAuliffe's memo to her outlining what he and President agreed to in their recent meeting on which Heinrich has hand-written "overnights." Enright memo tells Ickes "Nancy has asked us to follow up on this at the President's direction, and his note indicates 'promptly.'" President's handwritten note indicates he is "ready to start overnights right away."

1/11/95COFFEE  White House Coffee, hosted by POTUS.

1/12/95COFFEE  White House Coffee, hosted by POTUS.

1/21/95Fowler  Don Fowler becomes National Chairman of the DNC (Democratic National Committee).

1/23/95Memo  To Executive Office of the President - stating that DNC will pay for coffees.

1/29/95Ickes  Memo to POTUS & VP re "The 1996 Re-elect." Opening discussion of plans for fundraising - both for campaign and for DNC.

2/8/95COFFEE  White House Coffee, hosted by POTUS.

2/16/95COFFEE  White House Coffee, hosted by POTUS.

2/16/95Trie  On or about 2/16/95, defendant Yah Lin "Charlie" Trie attended a dinner honoring the DNC Managing Trustees, which was held at the White House with POTUS and FLOTUS (First Lady).

2/21/95COFFEE  White House Coffee, Hosted by VPOTUS. (Vice President of the United States)

2/27/95Chung  Chung writes letter to Richard Sullivan, requesting help arranging: meeting with Clinton, meeting with Gore, meeting with Ron Brown. An identical letter goes to Eric Seldon, also of the DNC. Also, a fax went to Ann McCoy of WH visitors office to arrange a tour.

Early/95Polling  POTUS hires Penn & Shoen to conduct polling. They hire Dick Morris as a subcontractor.

3/2/95Morris/TV  Morris memo advises POTUS to reject federal matching funds so as to increase the amount of money that the Clinton/Gore campaign could legally spend. Morris says this is needed for ad campaign. On p2 says he's "testing justification for no fed $ in poll."

3/7/95COFFEE  White House Coffee, hosted by Mrs. Gore.

3/16/95Morris/TV  Morris memo advises POTUS to reject federal matching funds so as to increase the amount of money that the Clinton/Gore campaign could legally accept. Morris says this is needed for ad campaign. Notes that he "will poll rationales" for rejecting public funding.

4/19/95COFFEE  White House Coffee, hosted by POTUS.

4/27/95Morris/TV  Morris memo again advises POTUS to reject federal matching funds so as to increase the amount of money that the Clinton/Gore campaign could legally accept. Morris says this is needed for ad campaign.

4/27/95Mikva   Memo from President's Counsel to WH and office of VP - re presidential campaign-related political activity. Very conventional reading of the rules. Including: "...fundraising events may not be held in the WH; also no fundraising phone calls or mail may emanate from the WH."

4/28/95Ickes  Memo to Panetta - re meetings with POTUS. Needing to discuss the fundraising schedule and the DNC budget.

4/28/95COFFEE  White House Coffee, hosted by POTUS.

5/3/95COFFEE  White House Coffee, hosted by POTUS.

5/10/95COFFEE  Jennifer O'Conner, special assistant to the President, sends e-mail to Karen Hancox, calling coffees "money tools."

5/13/95Gandhi  Yogesh Gandhi arrives in DC with a bust of Mohandas Gandhi, whom he claims is his great grand-uncle and tries to meet the President to present the bust/award. Gandhi paid $325,000 to attend DNC fundraising dinner that night, with 13 guests. Later, in a private room, Hogen Fukunaga, a 52-year-old Japanese citizen who leads a religious sect called Tensei, presented Clinton with the bust. There are still photos of this. (Huang involved). Before check is cashed, Gandhi gets a $500,000 wire transfer from Tanaka's Tokyo bank.

5/16/95COFFEE  White House Coffee, hosted by POTUS.

5/16/95Morris  Another Morris Memo - the money drumbeat continues.

5/22/95COFFEE  White House Coffee, hosted by POTUS.

5/26/95COFFEE  White House Coffee, hosted by POTUS.

5/31/95COFFEE  White House Coffee, hosted by VPOTUS.

6/1/95COFFEE  White House Coffee, hosted by VPOTUS.

6/2/95Tamraz  Roger Tamraz meets with Sheila Heslin at NSC to seek government support for his proposed oil pipeline plan.

6/5/95COFFEE  White House Coffee, hosted by VPOTUS.

6/6/95TV/Ickes  Ickes memo to POTUS revising script of a previous Grunwald video.

6/7/95COFFEE  White House Coffee, hosted by POTUS.

6/13/95 Fundraising  WH tape shows Clinton at fundraising dinner at private home. He talks about the ad campaign.

6/14/95COFFEE  White House Coffee, hosted by VPOTUS.

6/21/95TV  Morris memo urges POTUS, "Run TV ads now."

6/21/95COFFEE  White House Coffee, hosted by POTUS.

6/21/95Trie  Trie wrote a check on account of Diahatsu at First Commercial Bank in Little Rock to DNC for $50,000.

6/26/95Ickes  Fax from Karen Hancox at DNC gives "Harold" details of the fundraising totals of two recent coffees.

6/27/95DNC  Fundraising report published by DNC.

6/28/95Ickes  Memo to POTUS & VP re DNC fundraising - how it compares with '94 in events using them. Memo is stamped "The President has seen."

6/28/95Trie  Defendant Yah Lin "Charlie" Trie attended the 1995 DNC Presidential Gala at the Sheraton Hotel in Washington, DC.

6 or7/95Huang  Though dates are vague, in June or July, Arkansas attorney Joseph Giroir meets with his old friend Truman Arnold, now DNC Finance Director, and recommends John Huang to him at Huang's request.

7/95Middleton  The Lippo Group, John Huang's employer, hires former White House aide and Arkansan, Mark Middleton.

7/?/95Morris  Per his testimony, "sometime in July" Morris says Bowles came to him with President's decision not to reject public financing. He is told to "come up with plan B."

7/7/95TV  Morris writes note saying DNC will need to run $15-$18 million in TV ads.

7/11/95Tamraz  Roger Tamraz meets with Don Fowler and Ari Swiller at the DNC. DNC briefing memo for the meeting shows that Fowler was supposed to ask Tamraz for a $250K donation. And indicates if Tamraz agrees to give $250K, he can be invited to the NY Managing Trustees Dinner that evening.

7/12/95Tamraz  DNC staffer Alejandra Castillo sends note to Fowler, alerting him of problems with Tamraz's background and asking him for guidance with the DNC Financial Division on whether to continue dealing with him.

7/20/95COFFEE  White House Coffee, VPOTUS.

7/20/95Fundraising  WH tape of DNC Dinner at Mayflower. Clinton Q&A session.

7/25/95Fundraising  WH tape of Clinton-Gore dinner at Hay Adams featuring greetings by Clinton and McAuliffe.

7/26/95Morris  Dick Morris tells the President's weekly strategy group that the campaign will use DNC funds to pay for the ads.

8/95Huang  Having learned of Arnold's resignation from DNC, Giroir goes to visit the new DNC Chairman, Don Fowler - again to recommend Huang.

8/2/95Fundraising  WH tapes show DNC dinner at Hay-Adams. Clinton thanks Al Solomont.

8/3/95TV  Morris memo proposes a series of Medicare ads, which might split the GOP and strengthen Clinton's hand in the general election.

8/3/95COFFEE  White House Coffee, hosted by POTUS.

8/8/95COFFEE  White House Coffee, hosted by POTUS.

8/10/95COFFEE  White House Coffee, hosted by POTUS.

8/10/95Fundraising  WH tape shows DNC dinner at Hay Adams.

8/28/95Coffee  One-page list with no heading but "PERKS" subheading WITH PRESIDENT includes:1. Coffee with POTUS, 2. Small dinner with BC & HRC, 3. State Dinner, etc.

9/7/95COFFEE  White House Coffee, hosted by POTUS.

9/7/95Morris  Another Morris memo, #10... "Can we raise an additional $33 mil for DNC? Can we stop DNC from spending $ on things other than our ads?"

9/8/95COFFEE  White House Coffee, hosted by POTUS.

9/9/95Hotung  After donating $100,000, Eric Hotung meets with Robert Suettinger, at Don Fowler's request.

9/10/95TV  POTUS, VPOTUS, Panetta, Ickes, Fowler and pollster meet to discuss need to communicate POTUS' accomplishments though an ad campaign - paid for by the DNC at $10 million per week.

9/10/95Tamraz  Roger Tamraz writes $50,000 check to DNC.

9/11/95Trie  On or about 9/11/95, Yah Lin "Charlie" Trie attended a DNC dinner at the White House with the VPOTUS.

9/11/95Tamraz  Attends DNC leadership Forum reception.

9/12/95Fundraising  WH tape of C/G dinner at Jefferson Hotel. Clinton tells crowd there's nothing wrong with raising money, talks about campaign finance, telecom bill, etc..

9/13/95Tamraz.  Gore national security advisor Leon Fuerth writes to the VP, saying Roger Tamraz's pipeline plan is "Questionable." Notes that Rick Grimes & Sheila Heslin object to Tamraz having access to high level US officials. Fuerth also says the oil financier has a history of making false claims. Advises no high government contact with Tamraz

9/13/95Huang  Joe Giroir meets at Four Seasons with James Riady and DNC officials Fowler and Sullivan. Giroir tells Don Fowler he believes Huang is best person to orchestrate Asian-American fundraising.

9/13/95Huang  Handwritten note on WH stationary from McLarty to Nancy Hernreich: "Upon reflection, I do think the POTUS should call James Riady given James' time in Arkansas. Of course if POTUS decides to see him that's his call. Pl let me know what happens since I will see James @ Thurs.speech."

9/13/95Huang  POTUS met in Oval Office with Bruce Lindsey, John Huang, Joe Giroir, and James Riady, a Lippo executive. It is a 20 minute meeting described by the White House as a "social visit." But Lindsey testified to Senate that during the meeting Huang told POTUS he wanted to raise $ for Democrats.

9/13/95Morris  Morris memo #11: "$10 mil - pay for it entirely with DNC $."

9/14/95Huang  Bruce Lindsey call sheet with message from Huang saying he'd be willing to meet late that night or tomorrow - and reminding Lindsey to call Riady.

9/14/95Fowler  DNC memo from David Mercer to Don Fowler says the Hotungs will be giving $100,000 & attending WH dinner with Clintons.

9/14/95COFFEE  White House Coffee.

9/15/95Huang  West Wing entry log noting Huang visit to Lindsey.

9/15/95Tamraz  Goes to the DNC Leadership Forum reception at White House.

9/15/95COFFEE  White House Coffee, hosted by VPOTUS.

9/15/95Trie  Yah Lin "Charlie" Trie attended a DNC Trustee dinner at the White House with POTUS.

9/20/95Fowler  Memo to Doug Sosnik at WH requesting a meeting for Hotung with either Sandy Berger or Anthony Lake. Mentions twice in space of a single page what a "strong supporter" Hotung is.

9/25/95Morris  Morris memo #12 - More $ demands.

9/26/95Huang  Drops by DNC to see Fowler without an appointment. Again recommends Huang and talks of making a contribution.

9/26/95Huang  In a bar in the lobby of the Willard Hotel, Middleton introduces DNC finance chairman, Marvin Rosen to Huang and Giroir - a meeting Giroir asked Middleton to set up once he learned Rosen would be new DNC Finance Chair.

9/26/95Fundraising  WH Tape of Clinton-Gore dinner at Ritz Carlton. Includes McAuliffe introduction, Clinton Q&A and some mingling.

9/27/95COFFEE  White House Coffee, hosted by POTUS.

10/2/95Tamraz  Tamraz manages to get invited to a fundraiser for Ted Kennedy at his home in Virginia. He is seated at the head table with Kennedy and Gore. Tamraz hires Marvin Rosen's firm, Greenburg Traurig, to represent his company.

10/2/95COFFEE  White House Coffee, hosted by POTUS.

10/2/95Huang  Harold Ickes' daily schedule notes his meeting with Huang.

10/2/95Huang  Ickes met with Huang at WH. Ickes notes reveal that Huang insisted he needed an important sounding title at DNC to enhance his credibility with potential Asian Am donors.

10/3/95Tamraz  Per Heslin and Sullivan testimony, on this day someone at WH faxed a copy of Leon Fuerth's anti-Tamraz memo over to Sullivan at DNC - probably in response to pressure to schedule a Tamraz meeting.

10/3/95Hotung  Sandy Berger meets for a photo opportunity with DNC $100,000 donor Eric Hotung, at Fowler's request. Briefing memo for Berger describes Hotung as fabulously rich, but urges him not to spend much time with him.

10/4/95DNC  Hotungs meet with Sandy Berger. A few days later, Patricia Hotung gives $99,980 to DNC.

10/5/95COFFEE  White House Coffee, hosted by VPOTUS. Briefing memo for this breakfast includes Tamraz among the participants profiled. Shows he was clearly expected to attend.

10/5/95Tamraz  The invitation to breakfast with Gore is apparently rescinded. Tamraz does not attend.

10/6/95Tamraz  Tamraz met with Fowler and Sullivan at Fowler's office to discuss the disinvitation. Fowler tells him there was resistance to him and that the WH wanted more information before he could attend these events. Tamraz gives Fowler the name of Bob, his CIA friend.

10/12/95Fundraising  WH tape of Clinton event at Hotel Washington.

10/13/95COFFEE  White House Coffee, hosted by POTUS. As camera leaves the room, we hear Fowler saying "Mr. President, these are some of our best friends - your best friends and best supporters."

10/18/95Tamraz  Tamraz calls CIA Bob to inform him that Fowler may call.

10/20/95Tamraz  Bob writes in an internal CIA memo, that Don Fowler called him on 10/19 and said he was trying to arrange a meeting between Tamraz and Gore about the pipeline proposal.

10/23/95Huang  Middleton phoned Rosen, he said he would like to set up a meeting with Rosen, Joe Giroir and John Huang.

10/25/95COFFEE  White House Coffee, hosted by VPOTUS.

10/27/95Fundraising  WH tape of DNC luncheon.

10/30/95Sullivan  Memo to Ickes giving "requested info" re 1995 fundraising by POTUS and other WH players - impressive roster of dates, towns, amounts raised. Definitely shows activity picking up later in the year.

10/31/95Trie  Yah Lin "Charlie" Trie signed a letter under the title "Vice Chair, Dem. Natl. Fin. Com." to officers of two Chinese corp. inviting them to a "special luncheon honoring the POTUS."

11/1/95Caplan  Cover memo to President re an assortment of political info - on which Prez wrote "If I can help raise more I will." Attached is Ickes 10/20/95 memo on DNC operating budget & media budget report. Also Fowler's 10/20 report to Ickes on the 1995 Operating Budget. All showing budget trouble that needs to be cleaned up before starting into '96

11/1/95COFFEE  White House Coffee, hosted by POTUS.

11/8/95Huang  DNC has fund-raiser in Car Barn, at which President Clinton asked Marvin Rosen about Huang's employment status at DNC.

11/9/95COFFEE  White House Coffee, hosted by POTUS.

11/9/95Trie  Yah Lin "Charlie" Trie solicited person at a DNC fundraiser in Washington, DNC to make a contribution to the DNC in the amount of $5,000 and subsequently reimbursed that person in cash.

11/9/95Fundraising  White House tape shows DNC dinner.

11/13/95Trie  Yah Lin "Charlie" Trie solicits at a fundraiser in DC to make a contribution to the DSCC in the amount of $2,000 and subsequently reimbursed that individual in cash.

11/13/95Huang  Rosen and Sullivan interview Huang. Huang is offered DNC job later that day.

11/15/95Ickes  Memo to POTUS re Morris plan - delineating the need for a more systematic approach to raising the kinds of $ required for the Morris plan. "Several months ago we agreed to a $10 million media budget to be paid by the DNC." Now facing a moment when they have only $400,000 left. A need to revisit the decision to spend that kind of money, and if it remains firm, to...4) Organize a rational fundraising plan which will undoubtedly require a substantial amount of the President's and the VP's time. 5) Execute the plan."

11/18/95Ickes  Met with POTUS to discuss the upcoming fundraising plan. Decisions made at this meeting are the subject of the 11/20 memo noted below:

11/20/95Ickes  Memo to POTUS - confirming "the decisions made at our meeting 18 November 1995. If you wish to revisit any of them, please let me know." Among the agreements: a) to place an additional $300,000 in time on 11/25&26 "for the current DNC tv spot." B) Ickes is to provide POTUS with an analysis of DNC finances, C) McAuliffe and others are "to identify names of C/G donors who still have the capacity to give to the DNC for calendar year 1995 for possible solicitation to raise funds for additional media during 1995."

11/20/95Fowler  Memo to Ickes requesting additional fundraising work by POTUS & other WH players. Hoping to raise an additional $3.2 million by year's end.

11/21/95COFFEE  White House Coffee, hosted by VPOTUS.

11/21/95TV  Media fund project memo to Ickes from McAuliffe, Laura Hartigan & Rick Lerner. Summary of $ raised.

11/24/95Hancox  Email to Tilley & David Strauss - noting that "POTUS & VP offered (on their own) to make f.r.[fundraising] calls for the DNC." Also noting Ickes wanted the calls to start Monday.

11/26/95TV  Gore aide Joel Velasco sends an email to a Gore scheduler, noting "David Strauss just gave us 20 call sheets for the DNC media fund...You guys working on scheduling that?"

11/27/95POTUS  POTUS is asked to call August Busch 4th, to request $100,000.

11/28/95Ickes  Ickes writes memo to POTUS & VPOTUS, re: fundraising for DNC media. It lists 20 fundraising phone calls for POTUS, 15 for VPOTUS & 10 for Hillary.

11/28/95COFFEE  White House Coffee, hosted by VPOTUS.

12/4/95Huang  Huang begins work at DNC.

12/5/95Fowler  Fowler sends note to WH Chief of staff McLarty, asking him to call energy industry types to ask each for $25,000.

12/7/95TV  At WH strategy meeting, Morris memo indicates the "need to do phone calls and fundraising to turn around media as soon in January as possible." The memo also lays out "Estimated media needs for Jan-April: $15-18 million. 1. From DNC, 2. We will work with lawyers on placement." (Morris #15)

12/7/95Fundraising  WH tapes show DNC lunch at Hay Adams. Clinton tells how ads are boosting his numbers.

12/7/95Trie  Yah Lin "Charlie" Trie requested the DNC to arrange a meeting and photo opportunity with the POTUS for himself and guests from Indonesia.

12/8/95Fundraising  WH tapes show DSCC Oregon Convention Reception. Clinton thanks everyone for their generous help with ads.

12/13/95COFFEE  WH tapes of this White House Coffee, hosted by POTUS, feature some brief conversation between Clinton & Fowler before meeting starts.

12/13/95Tamraz  Fowler's DNC schedule for the day shows an 11:30 am meeting with Tamraz. Sullivan also attends.

12/13/95Tamraz  Fowler reaches CIA Bob and asks him to write a letter about Tamraz, to clear his name with WH staff.

12/14/95Tamraz  Fowler calls Sheila Heslin, leaving a message when he does not reach her. She sends an e-mail to Nancy Soderberg, expressing concern about this contact by DNC.

12/15/95COFFEE  WH tapes feature White House Coffee with POTUS and VP. Wiriandinata tells Clinton "James Riady sent me."

12/16/95POTUS  WH tape features Clinton in Oval Office photo op with supporters. He complains about $50 million in the budget proposed by Congress that is "pure, just literal give-aways to lobbyists - tax breaks where they have given them all this money..."

12/17/95Trie  Yah Lin "Charlie" Trie solicited an individual at a fundraiser in Washington, DC to make a contribution to the Oregon State Democratic party in the amount of $2,000 and subsequently reimbursed that individual in cash.

12/18/95COFFEE  White House Coffee, hosted by VPOTUS.

12/18/95Tamraz  NSC lawyer Alan Kreczko sends Heslin an e-mail saying she can return Fowler's call, but not do anything else without checking with him. Same day, Soderberg's assistant Ken Baldwin tells Heslin that Soderberg will call Fowler back.

12/18/95Ickes  Memo to Pres - re DNC budget meeting of 11/21. This has the usual "President has seen" stamp. Includes media schedule for rest of the year, and week by week schedule of fundraising activities of POTUS and other WH principals.

12/19/95Tamraz  Fowler calls Heslin, says note clearing Tamraz is coming from CIA Bob, and that she won't have any more concerns. Heslin blows up and calls CIA to complain. Also complains to Nancy Soderberg. We have her email to Soderberg, sending a copy of the Fuerth memo against Tamraz. Also have Fowler phone log indicating his calls to both of them.

12/20/95Chung  Chung, Shi-Zeng Chen, and the rest of the Tangshan Haomen Group delegation were admitted to White House residence for a holiday reception.

12/21/95COFFEE  White House Coffee, hosted by POTUS or VPOTUS


home . checking out the candidates . the money machine . advocacy ads . interviews
discussion . readings . faqs . synopsis . press reaction . tapes & transcripts
frontline online . pbs online

web site copyright 1995-2014 WGBH educational foundation