Affidavit: Trie Wanted Memo Shredded
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) _ A restaurant owner accused of making illegal contributions to President Clinton’s campaign told an aide to destroy documents related to his fund raising, according to an FBI affidavit.
The affidavit by FBI agent Daniel J. Wehr asked a federal magistrate for a warrant to search Yah Lin ``Charlie″ Trie’s home last October.
The magistrate unsealed the affidavit last week at the request of U.S. attorneys, who needed to give the document to lawyers defending Trie against a 15-count federal indictment.
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette first reported the contents of the affidavit Saturday. The results of the search remain under seal.
Trie, a longtime friend of Clinton’s and a former restaurateur, has pleaded innocent to charges that he gave and arranged illegal political contributions to the Democratic National Committee.
The indictment also claims Trie obstructed justice by ordering longtime employee Dia Maria Mapili to destroy documents subpoenaed last year by a federal grand jury and by the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee.
``As a result of that conversation, Mapili located files that fit this description ... and hid them under a bed in a room at the Little Rock residence,″ Wehr wrote. He said they were found in the offices of Daihatsu International Trading Corp. in Little Rock.
Daihatsu later received a subpoena from the Senate committee for documents about Trie’s fund raising for the Democratic National Committee, political candidates and Clinton’s legal defense fund.
A second subpoena from a grand jury also asked for documents related to Daihatsu, Trie’s fund raising and other matters.
In interviews with investigators, Ms. Mapili said documents sought by the grand jury and Senate remained in Trie’s Little Rock home and garage office.
``According to Mapili, the documents could be hidden either under the bed in one of the bedrooms used by Trie, in a cabinet used for sewing materials used by Trie’s mother, or in a filing cabinet in the garage,″ Wehr wrote.
Trie closed his Little Rock restaurant and opened an international business consulting company after Clinton became president. Thanks to his fund-raising prowess, he frequently attended Democratic fund-raising dinners, lunches or coffees that featured Clinton or Vice President Al Gore.
After fleeing overseas when the congressional probes began in 1997, Trie voluntarily returned Feb. 3 to the United States and pleaded innocent. He is free on $200,000 bond and awaiting trial in October.
Democrats returned $645,000 that Trie either donated or raised after determining the money came from questionable and possibly illegal sources. In addition, Clinton’s former legal defense fund returned $640,000 in contributions from Trie.