- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 22, 2001

Ernest G. Green, the former civil rights activist who helped integrate an Arkansas high school in 1957 as a member of the "Little Rock Nine," pleaded guilty yesterday to federal charges of misdemeanor tax evasion, the Justice Department said.
Green, a managing director at Lehman Brothers in Washington, was accused by federal prosecutors of failing to declare and pay income taxes on $30,000 he received in 1995 from Charles Yah Lin Trie, a former Democratic fund-raiser, Arkansas restaurant owner and longtime friend of President Clinton.
Trie, a key figure in the Justice Department's campaign-finance investigation, pleaded guilty in 1999 to making illegal donations to Mr. Clinton's 1996 presidential campaign and told the FBI that Green was an illegal conduit for cash that went to a February 1996 fund-raiser attended by the former president.
He told investigators he reimbursed Green for donations after asking him to "chip in" because the Democratic National Committee felt not enough cash had been raised at the fund-raiser.
Green also was the focus of a federal investigation into whether he was an illegal conduit for a separate $50,000 donation he made to the DNC a day after helping a Chinese arms dealer, Wang Jun, get into the White House for a meeting with Mr. Clinton.
The Justice Department said the $30,000 Green failed to declare was income from a planned business venture with Trie.
Green, 60, faces one year in prison and a $100,000 fine. U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton set sentencing for April 2. He is the 27th person charged in the campaign-finance task force probe, which began in 1996.
In 1999, Mr. Clinton joined congressional leaders in awarding Congressional Gold Medals to the "Little Rock Nine." Mr. Clinton gave the three men and six women Congress' highest award for their bravery in entering Little Rock's Central High School Sept. 25, 1957, protected by 1,200 Army troops sent by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to enforce a court's desegregation order.
Green, an assistant secretary of labor during the Carter administration and chairman of the African Development Foundation during the Clinton administration, has agreed to cooperate with Justice Department prosecutors in the ongoing campaign-finance probe and to provide "truthful" information.
In return for his cooperation, the department agreed not to further prosecute him or his wife, Phyllis, for illegal campaign contributions in 1996 and not to pursue issues arising from his 1997 and 1998 testimony or statements to Congress and a federal grand jury.
Trie pleaded guilty in May 1999 to election-law violations in an agreement to cooperate in the government's campaign-finance probe. He personally raised $350,000 for the DNC in 1996 and delivered $640,000 to the president's legal-defense funds. That money was later returned when fund executives could not establish its source.
According to an FBI summary, Trie said the DNC never instructed him on campaign-finance rules, but "appreciated him and never caused him problems because he brought in money." He said he was never questioned about whom he brought to Clinton functions "or why some of them appeared to be foreigners."
According to FEC records, Green donated $50,000 to the DNC in two checks of $20,000 and $30,000, both dated Feb. 7, 1996. That donation followed by a day a DNC-arranged White House meeting between the president and Democratic contributors, including Mr. Wang who was Trie's Oval Office guest.
Trie and Green wrote letters of endorsement for the Wang visa, issued by the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.
Mr. Wang was chairman of a Chinese arms company known as Poly Technologies Inc., although his visa application listed him as an executive of a China-based investment firm. Poly Technologies makes weapons for the Chinese military.
At the time of the visit, the company was under investigation by the U.S. Customs Service in connection with a major smuggling operation. The company was identified by undercover agents as a supplier of 2,000 AK-47s delivered to U.S. drug dealers and street gangs.
Mr. Wang was not charged in the probe, but investigators confirmed his name was "not unknown to undercover agents who had worked the case." One Poly Technologies executive, He Ping, son-in-law of the late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, was targeted but not arrested in the case.
Mr. Clinton has said it was "clearly inappropriate" for Mr. Wang to have been included among reception guests, but he had no recollection of meeting him and "nothing inappropriate came from it in terms of any governmental action on my part."

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