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House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Archer Saturday urged President Clinton to fire Ira Magaziner, a senior aide found by a federal judge to engage in "dishonest" behavior.

"I call on you to dismiss immediately Mr. Magaziner from any position of trust he holds in the government," the Texas Republican wrote Clinton.

U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth earlier this month awarded $286,000 in legal fees to the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons and two other groups after finding that Magaziner made false statements about the makeup of a federal health task force headed by first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Magaziner, in a 1993 statement submitted to the judge, claimed the administration's health care task force was made up solely of government employees and that consultants had no "supervisory role or decision-making authority." Records later contradicted Magaziner's statement.

"Mr. President, I hope you agree with me that this type of conduct cannot be condoned, nor should it be rewarded through continued government employment," Archer wrote to Clinton.

Magaziner is a member of Clinton's Domestic Policy Council and is senior adviser to the president for policy development.

In his court ruling, Lamberth found that Magaziner "was dishonest with this court . . . It seems that some government officials never learn that the cover-up can be worse than the underlying conduct."

Clinton has declined to comment on the court's finding.

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