&to=http:// english.pravda.ru/world/2001/02/23/2684.html' target=_blank>Hillary Rodham Clinton's former chief fund-raiser took the stand in his own defense here on Tuesday, saying that he never intended to understate the costs of a Hollywood concert and dinner during her 2000 Senate race.
Indeed, the fund-raiser, David F. Rosen, 38, described himself as a diligent foot soldier in the campaign who deferred to his superiors and was himself misled about the event's expenses by its organizers. "These costs were hidden from me," he said. "These costs were concealed for whatever reason."
But during cross-examination, Peter R. Zeidenberg, a prosecutor, sought to portray Mr. Rosen as a slick former door-to-door salesman who could use his skills to sell "soap powder or a politician." The implication appeared to be that Mr. Rosen, who spoke confidently and eagerly in a deep voice, often talking directly to the jurors, was selling himself, informs the New York Times.
According to the Washington Post, more than a thousand people were invited to the party at a posh Brentwood estate, including Brad Pitt and Whoopi Goldberg, with Stevie Wonder and Cher performing on a specially constructed stage. Guests went home with deluxe gift bags and souvenir chairs.
But Rosen, serving as national finance director for the then-first lady who was running for the Senate from New York, said he had no history to help him gauge how much such a high-flying event should cost. Following the custom in fundraising, Rosen testified, he simply took the words of the hosts -- and only much later, he insisted, learned they had understated their expenses by $800,000.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969