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CLINTON HAD BETTER NOT SEEK REIMBURSEMENT

President Clinton says while he is probably legally entitled to reimbursement for all the expenses caused by the independent counsel office's investigation, he's not inclined to seek the money.

Our first reaction is to be sarcastic and to say, well, thanks a lot Mr. President. Thanks for letting us taxpayers off the hook for your sex play with a White House intern and your lies under oath. That is generous of you. Mighty generous.

Our second reaction continues to be that he should be responsible for the $10 million himself, but doubt begins to creep in.

On the one hand, his legal defense fund has already paid half and may come up with the remainder. And you cannot forget, either, that Clinton will have the ability to make large sums of money after he leaves the presidency. . . .

He is apparently entitled to reimbursement under a law protecting government officials. It says they can appeal for money to a panel of judges when an independent counsel is through with his work. But what about the vast majority of us who have no such law to protect us when we are caught up in some ghastly civil suit? . . .

It hasn't seemed to bother him that many people can be thrown into insurmountable debt by such suits even when they emerge victorious. These people usually do not have defense funds to fall back on, and they cannot earn tens of thousands of dollars by giving occasional speeches.

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