CLINTON PADS DEFENSE FUND BY $2 MILLION.Byline: Don Van Natta Jr. The New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of Times
President Clinton's new legal defense fund has raised in excess of $2 million in just six months, enriched by a new campaign that largely blamed Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr
Kenneth Winston Starr (born July 21, 1946) is an American lawyer and former judge who was appointed to the Office of the Independent Counsel to investigate the death of the for the first couple's financial plight, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. several supporters briefed in recent days on the fund's progress.
The Clinton Legal Expense Trust has exceeded its managers' most optimistic expectations, mainly through the direct-mail effort highlighting Starr's inquiry of the president and by the increased annual limit of $10,000 per individual.
The $2 million-plus far outstrips the $1.3 million raised over a 3-1/2-year period by the original fund, formed to help Clinton and first lady Hillary Rodham Rodham is an English surname which may refer to a number of persons or places. People
Family of Hillary Rodham Clinton
Estimates of their legal expenses range from a current level of at least $6 million to a total that ultimately could exceed $10 million.
The earlier fund was disbanded in December after campaign finance controversies and strict giving limitations had slowed contributions to a trickle.
The new trust, created independently of the Clintons, is free of restrictions on the original fund that had prohibited solicitations and limited annual contributions to $1,000 per individual.
More than 8,000 people have sent contributions to the new trust, ranging from a single dollar to the $10,000 maximum, the supporters said.
Donations came ``from Main Street, Wall Street and Hollywood,'' said one supporter who insisted on anonymity. ``The direct mail was very successful.''
Several officials said the trust's total was spurred by supporters' anger and frustration with Starr's 4-year-old inquiry of the president. The solicitations began in late February, five weeks after Starr's prosecutors began investigating the Monica Lewinsky Monica Samille Lewinsky (born July 23, 1973) is an American woman with whom the former United States President Bill Clinton admitted (after initially denying) to having had an "inappropriate relationship" while Lewinsky worked at the White House in 1995 and 1996. matter.
Support from Hollywood
``I would have given more, but they didn't want any more,'' noted entertainment mogul David Geffen, who said Wednesday that he had contributed $10,000 to the trust.
The president spent several hours with Geffen on Tuesday at the latter's three-story, Palladian-style mansion on his nine-acre Beverly Hills Beverly Hills, city (1990 pop. 31,971), Los Angeles co., S Calif., completely surrounded by the city of Los Angeles; inc. 1914. The largely residential city is home to many motion-picture and television personalities. estate.
``I just think this is an incredibly unfortunate situation for the president and for this country,'' Geffen said. ``There is a well-financed group of zealots Zealots (zĕl`əts), Jewish faction traced back to the revolt of the Maccabees (2d cent. B.C.). The name was first recorded by the Jewish historian Josephus as a designation for the Jewish resistance fighters of the war of A.D. 66–73. who want to bring down the president. And this guy has no money. He's broke. This is a terrible situation.''
Fund-raisers attracted generous support from others in the entertainment industry. The trust has received $10,000 checks from singer Barbra Streisand Noun 1. Barbra Streisand - United States singer and actress (born in 1942)
Barbra Joan Streisand, Streisand , actor Tom Hanks Noun 1. Tom Hanks - United States film actor (born in 1956)
Hanks, Thomas J. Hanks , filmmaker Steven Spielberg Noun 1. Steven Spielberg - United States filmmaker (born in 1947)
Spielberg , film executive Jeffrey Katzenberg, film executive Harvey Weinstein, television producer Bud Yorkin and Gail Zappa, the widow of musician Frank Zappa.
A list of donors has not been released. Organizers of the new trust, which is headed by former Sen. David Pryor David Hampton Pryor (born August 29, 1934) was a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives and United States Senator from the State of Arkansas. Pryor also served as Governor of Arkansas from 1975 to 1979 and was a member of the Arkansas House of of Arkansas, plan to announce the results at a news conference later this month.
The trust's executive director, Anthony Essaye, declined to comment Wednesday.
``If you are disturbed by the way politics is conducted today, then what better response than to make your own gesture of decency and generosity,'' Pryor wrote in a solicitation letter mailed to thousands of supporters. ``I know that it will be enormous comfort to the first family to know that so many Americans appreciate their work and have to come to their aid.''
Huge legal debt
One adviser estimated that the Clintons owe their private lawyers about $6 million. In the letter, Pryor said the bill exceeds ``the president's total compensation or the first family's net worth.''
There are expectations that those bills could increase by at least $1 million per year before Clinton leaves office in 2001.
Clinton is the first sitting president to accept donations to help cover his legal bills. Former President Nixon accepted donations to help defray de·fray
tr.v. de·frayed, de·fray·ing, de·frays
To undertake the payment of (costs or expenses); pay.
[French défrayer, from Old French desfrayer : des-, his legal bills after he resigned, but he paid the bulk of his legal fees himself.
By contrast, Lewinsky, the 25-year-old former White House intern at the center of the scandal, has received less than $10,000 in contributions to her legal defense fund, created by her former lawyer, William Ginsburg. And Linda Tripp, the woman whose surreptitiously sur·rep·ti·tious
1. Obtained, done, or made by clandestine or stealthy means.
2. Acting with or marked by stealth. See Synonyms at secret. recorded tapes of conversations with Lewinsky started the scandal, has raised less than $50,000 to cover her legal bills.
The Clintons' friends and advisers established the new trust to allow fund-raisers to aggressively raise money through direct-mail solicitations and higher annual limits per individual than the original fund, which had been restricted by ethics rulings.
In voice solicitations and direct mail, fund-raisers invoked the name ``Starr'' and found that longtime supporters of the Democratic Party and the president were so incensed at the independent counsel's inquiry that many people gladly contributed the maximum amount.