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Clintons Get Mortgage for N.Y. Home

October 14, 1999

WASHINGTON (AP) _ President Clinton and his wife secured substitute financing for their New York home Thursday, abandoning a plan to rely on prominent Democratic fund-raiser Terry McAuliffe for financial backing.

``After they had the initial contract ... they had an opportunity to look hard at different financing options,″ said Jim Kennedy, spokesman for the White House counsel’s office. ``This home purchase has had a fair amount of publicity and I think stimulated a lot of offers from different mortgage companies.″

White House officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, have said criticism of the loan guarantee Clinton and his wife, Hillary, secured from their friend McAuliffe spurred them to seek other options. Kennedy declined to comment on the criticism.

``They became aware of some different financing options and they looked into them and settled on this one as making the most sense for them,″ Kennedy said.

The Clintons sought the $1.7 million house in Chappaqua to allow Mrs. Clinton to establish residency in anticipation of her bid for a Senate seat next year. They expect to close on the property Nov. 1.

The new $1.36 million loan from PNC Mortgage Corp. of America is a conventional 30-year adjustable rate mortgage, but the interest rate is locked in at 7.5 percent for the first three years, Kennedy said. Later, the rate will adjust annually to reflect the one-year Treasury bill rate plus 2.75 percent.

Washington gadfly Larry Klayman, chairman of Judicial Watch, which sued to block the Clintons’ original loan deal, said the group would expand its suit to examine the new arrangement. Klayman is critical because the loans are greater than the Clintons can currently afford.

``The Clintons are clearly entitled to live in New York if they so please; however, they should secure a house within their means and not look to others, seeking to buy influence,″ Klayman said.

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