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Ex-DNC Chief Denies Pushing for Donor

March 19, 1997| Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The former chairman of the Democratic National Committee denied Tuesday that he or party aides asked the CIA to vouch for a donor who was seeking meetings with White House officials.

Donald L. Fowler also disputed reports that he pressured a National Security Council aide to persuade her not to oppose future White House meetings with oil financier Roger Tamraz.

The CIA said Monday that its inspector general was investigating reports that a DNC official asked the agency to provide information about Tamraz to the NSC. The NSC aide, Sheila Heslin, is reported to have told colleagues that Fowler said the CIA would provide information about Tamraz's value to the intelligence agency. But Fowler said in a statement that he did not "call or contact the CIA or ask them to supply information" to the NSC.

Tamraz, a New York businessman wanted on decade-old embezzlement charges in Lebanon, attended six White House social events in the last two years and met briefly with Heslin. Tamraz's company gave $72,000 to the DNC.

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