Former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator Shen Fu-hsiung (
The controversy nearly derailed Chen Shui-bian's campaign to be re-elected president against competition from then Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman Lien Chan (連戰).
Days before the 2004 poll, Chen Yu-hao accused Chen Shui-bian of accepting political donations six times and said that, accompanied by Shen, he had met first lady Wu Shu-jen (
His claim raised questions about Chen Shui-bian's integrity and caused Chen's support rating in polls to fall.
At that time, Shen would not answer directly when asked about Chen Yu-hao's claims and the alleged meeting with Wu.
Shen yesterday confirmed he had taken Chen Yu-hao to visit Wu and added that the president's son-in-law's recent alleged involvement in insider trading simply "mimicked" the behavior of his mother-in-law Wu, who often made phone calls to meddle in governmental issues.
Shen yesterday also ridiculed Chen Shui-bian, saying he had become a "lame duck" president.
But Chao's case had not yet burned the president and the first lady, he said.
"If the scandal is found to be related to the president and his wife, then the president would become a roast duck," he added.
Shen said the most urgent thing for Chen Shui-bian now was to sit down and talk with Wu and Presidential Office Deputy Secretary-General Ma Yung-cheng (
"If the president can correct his mistakes, I believe he will still be able to leave office with a good reputation," Shen said, adding that he regretted he had not made things clear in 2004.
If he had done so, he said, the case involving Chao might not have occurred.
"I was worried that if I told the whole story about the political donation, the DPP would place all the responsibility for the president's failure to be re-elected on me," Shen said.
DPP Legislator Lin Cho-shui (
"If the president had dealt with those controversies well, the Chao case would not have happened," Lin said.
But DPP Legislator Gao Jyh-peng (
In response to Shen's claim, Presidential Office Spokesman David Lee (李南陽) said yesterday the office had made a thorough explanation in response to Chen Yu-hao's accusations in 2004 and would not comment on the matter now.