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Legal Trust Dwarfs Gifts to Clinton

May 16, 2000|From Reuters

WASHINGTON — President Clinton's friends showered him with gifts last year, including a suit, a sofa, golf clubs and cuff links, but his enemies cost him far more in legal bills stemming from the impeachment scandal.

According to financial disclosure forms released by the White House on Monday, the president got a $2,500 suit, a $1,088 sofa, a $320 Harley Davidson leather jacket as well as ties, sweaters, cashmere and crystal as gifts last year.

But his biggest present was $2.25 million from the trust created to pay his legal bills, which stemmed largely from the Monica S. Lewinsky scandal that led to his impeachment in December 1998 and his acquittal by the U.S. Senate in February 1999.

Vice President Al Gore, in contrast, declared only one gift: $1,550 in free legal advice from his longtime friend, James Neal of Nashville, Tenn.

The disclosure forms, released by the White House each year, list all gifts worth more than $250 and show that the president leads the vice president in assets and liabilities, which are reported only in ranges.

Clinton had assets of somewhere from $1.2 million to $5.7 million, primarily from a single blind trust valued at $1 million to $5 million. The vice president reported assets of $1.1 million to $1.4 million.

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