a similar story — this one involving Communist China — that developed during Bill Clinton’s 1996 reelection campaign. The Washington Post reported in 1998 that “evidence gathered in federal surveillance intercepts has indicated that the Chinese government planned to increase China’s influence in the U.S. political process in 1996.”
.. Many people still believe that a major cover-up of that scandal worked — in part because the media expressed skepticism and devoted only a fraction of resources they are spending on the Trump–Russia story. Network reporters expressed outright skepticism of the story, with many openly criticizing the late senator Fred Thompson, the chair of the Senate investigating committee, for wasting time and money.
.. congressional hearings on the China scandal in the summer of 1997 were dwarfed by reports on the murder of fashion designer Gianni Versace and the death of Princess Diana.
.. The Chinese fundraising scandal involving DNC finance vice chairman John Huang first came to light in the final weeks of the 1996 presidential campaign. A former Commerce Department official, Huang was a top fundraiser who scooped up suspect foreign cash for Team Clinton.
.. The DNC was forced to give back more than $2.8 million in illegal or improper donations from foreign nationals.
.. Chung confessed that at least $35,000 of his donations to the Clinton campaign and the DNC had come from a Chinese aerospace executive — a lieutenant colonel in the Chinese military.
.. A total of 120 participants in the fundraising scandal either fled the country, asserted their Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination, or otherwise avoided questioning. The stonewalling worked — and probably encouraged Hillary Clinton in her own cover-up of her private e-mail server and her ties with the Clinton Foundation.
.. Indeed, much of the media basically gave the Clintons a pass on evidence that special-interest donors to the Clinton Foundation frequently managed to score favors from the State Department. Journalist Peter Schweitzer revealed in his book Clinton Cash that State had helped move along an infamous deal that granted the Russians control of more than 20 percent of the uranium production here in the United States.
.. The company involved in acquiring the American uranium was a very large donor to — you guessed it — the Clinton Foundation.
.. But a little humility and honesty on the part of the media would be appropriate. Much of the breathless and constant coverage of the Russia scandal is motivated by the media’s hatred of Donald Trump
.. When it came to the Clintons, the media tended to downplay or even trivialize many of their scandals. But, to be fair, a little bit of self-awareness is beginning to show up in the Russia coverage. Last Thursday, Mika Brzezinski of MSNBC noted that when it came to “opening the door” to lowering the standards of conduct by a modern president, Bill Clinton led the way with his lying and scandalous behavior.