Inside Taiwan’s Purgatory
Roger Lin and others of Taiwan Civil Government are accused of operating an international crime ring that defrauds its own members. Allegedly members donate money because they believe the group has inside connections with the United States government. TCG photo albums reveal that the group just might be on an inside track at the White House under Donald Trump. Although Trump has not made any midnight tweets about TCG yet, group delegations from Taiwan have made contact with presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway, Vice-President Mike Pence, and almost had a private reception with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
Although photos of Julian Lin, accused of fraud, and Conway have surfaced before, the president’s former campaign manager had not been pictured with other members of a TCG delegation. Posing with junketeers at a POLITICO event in 2017, Conway likely got an earful about the TCG goal of expelling the ROC from Taiwan. This new photo of Conway turned up taped to a wall at the Taipei State TCG office.
Junketeers also listened to Vice President Mike Pence in 2017 at a luncheon, sponsored by TCG, but photos of Pence with the group were unknown. However, stills from a cellphone video clip now picture Pence pumping hands and hugging one TCG delegate. Pence is seen departing the stage and making a bee line for the TCG sponsor table. As Pence shakes hands he is introduced to the group by one of the junketeers to which Pence can be heard saying, “Very good.” Pence shook hands, posed for a thumbs up picture and then gave a female delegate a big hug.
While Pence’s luncheon handshakes may have been little more than a photo op they do suggest an awareness of TCG as it was no accident Pence headed to the sponsor table.
That Conway posed for a couple of pictures at a media event and Pence shook a few hands departing a speech doesn’t prove much, except that TCG members were there. More is needed than snapshots to prove an inside connection.
On May 23, 2018, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross was scheduled to meet with a TCG delegation at the Heritage Foundation. The private reception was only nixed as Ross was enroute to the event, presumably tipped off at the last minute about the May 10 fraud arrests in Taiwan of TCG leaders. A spokesman for the Heritage Foundation said TCG was a “good partner” to work with.
The Ross meeting, even though it was abruptly canceled, is the proof that the photo shoots with Conway and Pence were more than just a happy chance. TCG lobbying and public relations spending hit paydirt in the Trump Administration. Where would the Ross meeting have led? The ROC arrests in Taiwan put the brakes on TCG inroads with the White House, raising serious questions about the timing and purpose of the raids and fraud allegations, including the pre-trial jailing of group leaders.