But when Representative Dan Burton subpoenaed bank records, he learned that Green had received $2,000 from Trie two weeks after the coffee. Around the same time, Green made 11 cash deposits totaling $30,000. He told Burton the $2,000 covered a bet and the deposits may have been speaker's fees. Burton asked Justice to investigate last year, but task-force activity has picked up with a new chief eager to wrap up investigating the 1996 campaign as a new one heats up.
Ernie Green was one of the nine black students who integrated Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas in 1957. Now he faces attention from a different quarter. The Justice Department's task force on campaign finance has stepped up its probe into $50,000 he gave the Democratic party in 1996, after allegedly arranging for a Chinese arms dealer to come to a White House fund-raising coffee. The rub for Green is that he told Senate investigators who were trying to determine if he had been illegally reimbursed by fund-raiser Charlie Trie that he'd never received funds from Trie, who had introduced Green to the Chinese official.