WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Clintons' house purchase garnered so much unwelcome attention _ including a lawsuit _ that the lender got a former Independent Counsel to assess whether the president and first lady got a sweetheart deal. The conclusion: they didn't.

The terms of the mortgage were the ``usual and customary rate for a loan of this size and for borrowers with assets and projected income similar to the Clintons,'' wrote attorney Arlin Adams, the former Independent Counsel who investigated the Reagan administration's Housing and Urban Development scandal.

In buying their $1.7 million home in a New York suburb, the Clintons put up $340,000 and borrowed the rest from PNC Mortgage Corp., the nation's 12th-largest home lender.

The loan carries a fixed rate of 7.5 percent for three years, and then converts to an adjustable-rate mortgage. The Clintons will pay no points, or add-on fees.

Judicial Watch, a conservative group, wants to have the mortgage rescinded, alleging in a lawsuit that the financial terms are an illegal gratuity from the mortgage lender.

``The proposed loan to the Clintons satisfied the applicable PNC policies, was handled in accordance with standard practice and is comparable to loans offered to similarly situated borrowers,'' Adams stated.