House Banking Committee Chairman Jim Leach has asked banking regulators to turn over all documents relating to the Lippo Group, a giant Indonesian financial services firm, and its ties to U.S. banks.
His request came after press reports alleging that James Riady, a top Lippo official and a major Democratic Party contributor, arranged a meeting between President Clinton and Indonesia's ambassador.
In letters Tuesday to Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Ricki Helfer, and Comptroller of the Currency Eugene A. Ludwig, Rep. Leach said an investigation of Lippo is necessary to avoid "the kinds of conflicts of financial interest that exist in many other countries."
Specifically, the Iowa Republican asked for documents regarding Lippo Bank in Los Angeles, Worthen Banking Corp. in Little Rock, Worthen Bank and Trust Co., Worthen National Bank of Arkansas, and First Arkansas Bankstock Corp.
Separately, House International Relations Committee Chairman Benjamin Gilman asked President Clinton in a letter Tuesday to explain why the White House set up the meeting at Mr. Riady's request, bypassing traditional State Department channels.