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Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has received approval from the Senate Ethics Committee for her $8 million book deal, she said Wednesday.

New York's junior senator quietly submitted her memoir deal for the committee's approval Jan. 11, almost a month after she made the lucrative agreement with publisher Simon & Schuster. She said she was notified Tuesday that the committee had approved the deal.

"I am pleased that the Senate Ethics Committee has found that my agreement with Simon & Schuster fully complies with the Senate ethics rules," Clinton said in a statement.

Clinton did not have to obtain the committee's approval for the deal, which was agreed before she was sworn in as a senator. To remove questions surrounding the matter, she chose to submit it to the committee, anyway, aides said.

While Republican criticism for the former first lady's book deal has been muted, watchdog groups questioned its ethics. Gary Ruskin of the nonpartisan Congressional Accountability Project wrote a Dec. 18 letter to Clinton urging her to submit the deal to the committee and asking her to forsake an advance in favor of straight royalties.

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