first_imgA person who saw the letter said Thursday that the note from Norman Hsu explicitly stated that he “intended to commit suicide.” The person declined to reveal the exact phrasing but said it was not rambling in nature. The individual spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about it. The letter arrived at the New York offices of the Innocence Project as Hsu was in the midst of a bizarre legal odyssey stemming from a 1991 grand theft case. Hsu has been wanted as a fugitive for missing his sentencing in the case. He failed to show up for a bail hearing last week in California and was arrested at a Colorado hospital after being taken off an Amtrak train. Hsu was a leading money “bundler” for Clinton, earning the title of HillRaiser for his efforts. Her campaign is returning $850,000 in contributions linked to Hsu. On Thursday, in Grand Junction, Colo., Mesa County Judge Bruce Raaum set $5 million cash bail on the California grand theft charge over the objections of prosecutors who wanted bail set at $50 million. That means Hsu would have to post the entire $5 million, in cash. CRIME: Man with ties to Sen. Hillary Clinton is now in jail in Colorado on $5 million bail. By Pat Milton THE ASSOCIATED PRESS NEW YORK – The saga of the scandal-plagued Democratic fundraiser with ties to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton took another strange twist after he mailed a suicide note last week to a legal organization. Federal charges of unlawful flight were being dropped. County District Attorney Pete Hautzinger argued that Hsu posed a flight risk because he previously skipped the California case in which he posted $2 million bail. Hsu’s attorney, Eric Elliff, argued that $50 million was ridiculous. But the judge set the bond, saying that “$2 million wasn’t enough to keep Mr. Hsu from running. We’ll see if $5 million will do it.” Elliff said Hsu was willing to waive extradition and is eager to get back to California. But the judge set a hearing for next Wednesday in which Hsu can formally waive extradition, which would clear the way for California officials to transport him. Hsu appeared via video from the Mesa County jail, dressed in a yellow jail shirt. He blinked frequently and nodded, answering “Yes” when asked if he understood the California charge and saying “Thank you” in a low voice when the hearing ended. In arguing for higher bail, Hautzinger mentioned the letter that Hsu had sent to the Innocence Project and others, saying it showed Hsu was “despondent and may hurt himself.” Asked if Hsu would post bail, Elliff said, “I don’t know; $5 million is an awfully large amount of money for anyone to gather up, especially when you are in custody.” Hsu was booked into jail Wednesday night. Innocence Project officials would not provide the specific details of the letter. “We were all concerned for his safety. We knew we needed to try to reach him right away. We wanted to make sure he was safe,” spokesman Eric Ferrero said. They tried Hsu’s cell phone, but there was no answer, and the voicemail was full. Innocence Project officials then tried to reach Hsu’s attorney and faxed a copy of the letter to the California attorney general’s office, which is handling the case. The letter was sent overnight delivery. Details of the letter were first reported Thursday by The Wall Street Journal. Hsu has been a benefactor of the Innocence Project, a legal group that helps prove prisoners’ innocence through DNA testing. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more