Clinton legal defense fund raises $2.5 million in first half of year
By WOLF BLITZER AND KARLA CROSSWHITE/CNN
August 12, 1999
Web posted at: 4:59 p.m. EDT (2059 GMT)
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The legal expense trust fund for President Clinton and first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton raised $2.5 million during the first half of 1999 -- bringing the fund's total since it was reconstituted early last year to $6.3 million.
But the first family's legal bills over the past six years now total $10.5 million, meaning the fund still has a long way to go before all the bills are paid.
The previous legal defense fund, which went out of business in February, 1998, paid $775,000 in legal bills for the Clintons.
The revised fund has received 79,000 individual contributions, according to the fund's trustees.
The money goes for the legal bills stemming from the Whitewater investigation and its various spinoffs, the Paula Jones case, the Monica Lewinsky investigation and the congressional impeachment proceedings.
Most of the legal bills are from the private law firms of David Kendall, who represents the president and the first lady in Independent Counsel Ken Starr's various investigations, and Robert Bennett, who represents the president in the Paula Jones case.
The new legal expense trust fund was established in February 1998. As of June 30, 1998 it had raised $1.5 million. By December 31, 1998, the total was $3.7 million. And now, as of June 30, 1999, the number has increased to $6.3 million.
The maximum individual donation allowed is $10,000. Fifty-six people gave that amount, including Dreamworks Executive Jeffrey Katzenberg, designer Ralph Lauren and Robert Shaye of New Line Cinema. The vast majority of the donations were in small amounts, such as $10, $50 and $100.