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California: prosecutor says no evidence of Sen. Clinton's involvement in underreporting cost of event

The New York Times reports: Before Hillary Rodham Clinton's former chief fund-raiser went on trial here for underreporting donations to her Senate campaign, political speculation has revolved around what if anything Mrs. Clinton knew about his alleged transgressions, as well as what if anything the trial would do to her presidential aspirations (assuming she has them).

A federal prosecutor tried to answer at least one of those questions in his opening statement on Wednesday in Federal District Court, when he told the jury, "You will hear no evidence that Hillary Clinton was involved in any way, shape or form."

Indeed, the prosecutor, Peter R. Zeidenberg, said that the fund-raiser, David F. Rosen, tried to keep Mrs. Clinton's campaign from discovering how much money was donated to cover the costs of the star-studded event at the heart of this criminal case. The reason, Mr. Zeidenberg said, is that Mr. Rosen was afraid he would be fired if the campaign found out how much money he had spent on the August 2000 event, the Hollywood Gala Salute to President William Jefferson Clinton.

Mr. Rosen, 40, is facing three counts of causing false statements to be filed to the Federal Election Commission, all involving the costs of the gala, a concert and dinner with President and Mrs. Clinton. The government says Mr. Rosen reported that the event cost at most about $400,000; prosecutors contend the real cost was $1.1 million. -- Mrs. Clinton Not at Fault, Prosecutor Tells Jury - New York Times