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The Nation

Clintons Seeking Taxpayer Money for Legal Bills

July 27, 2002|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Former President Clinton and his wife have asked a court to have taxpayers reimburse them for legal costs related to the Whitewater investigation, their lawyer said late Friday.

Last year, the former president earned $9.2 million on the lecture circuit, and Hillary Rodham Clinton--now New York's junior senator--received a $2.85-million advance on her memoir.

But they still have legal bills totaling between $1.75 million and $6.5 million, according to the financial disclosure form Hillary Clinton was require to file as a member of the Senate. The Clintons paid $1.3 million in legal bills last year, according to the Senate filing.

It is unknown how much of the outstanding bills is related to the inquiry into the failed Arkansas land deal. The Clintons were never charged in connection with the Whitewater investigation.

In a statement, Clinton lawyer David E. Kendall said he was seeking reimbursement under the independent counsel statute and was following the precedent set by former presidents Reagan and Bush.

The law pays legal fees for the subject of an investigation if no indictment results.

Kendall's firm is owed $1 million to $5 million by the Clintons.

Sen. Clinton's office referred all questions to Kendall, who could not be reached for further comment.

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