- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 30, 2003

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Vernon Jordan, the prominent Washington attorney who may have helped Monica Lewinsky find a job after she left the White House, will not be reimbursed for most of his legal bills arising from an investigation of then-President Bill Clinton’s relationship with Miss Lewinsky, a federal appeals court ruled yesterday.

Mr. Jordan asked the federal government to pay the $302,719 in fees he spent to defend himself during the investigation by the independent counsel’s office. But the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said he was entitled to only $1,215.

The special three-judge panel rejected Mr. Jordan’s argument that no other prosecutor would have conducted such an extensive investigation and dismissed his assertion that the process was expensive and lengthy because of his friendship with the then-president.



“Nothing in Jordan’s application or the supporting documentation supports the proposition that the investigation of Jordan was any longer or more intense than it would have been in the absence of” the law authorizing an independent counsel, the panel said.

The special appeals panel was the same one that appointed Kenneth Starr to take over the investigation of the Clintons’ failed Arkansas land deal, known as Whitewater, and then authorized him to investigate charges of perjury and obstruction of justice concerning Mr. Clinton’s relationship with Miss Lewinsky, a White House intern.

During his investigation, Mr. Starr obtained evidence that Mr. Jordan may have helped Miss Lewinsky get a job as a way of influencing her to give false testimony about her relationship with the president.

Ultimately, no indictment was issued against Mr. Jordan or anyone else, but Mr. Clinton was impeached and was held in contempt of court by a federal judge in Arkansas. Voting on the two impeachment charges, the Senate did not reach the two-thirds majority necessary to remove Mr. Clinton from office.

Mr. Starr also concluded in his final report that he had enough evidence to bring a criminal prosecution against the president, though he chose not to do so.

The law authorizing an independent counsel — which has since expired — allows people who are investigated to seek reimbursement of their attorney fees if they can show the fees would not have been incurred but for the law. More than 30 people investigated by Mr. Starr have asked the government to repay their legal bills, and many have succeeded.

In July, the same appeals panel rejected a request by Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton for reimbursement of more than $3.5 million in legal costs stemming from the Whitewater probe. The panel said they were entitled only to about $85,000 in fees for reviewing Mr. Starr’s final report.

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