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Price of Clinton probes — almost $60 million

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WASHINGTON — With months of wrap-up work still unfinished, the independent counsel investigations of former President Clinton have cost U.S. taxpayers close to $60 million, according to Congress' General Accounting Office.

The current independent counsel Robert Ray and his predecessor, Kenneth Starr, had by the end of last September spent $59.9 million looking into such matters as Whitewater, the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal, the firings in the White House travel office and the controversy over FBI files, the GAO reported Friday.

Five independent counsels investigating officials in the Clinton administration have spent more than $110.4 million, The Washington Post reported in Saturday editions.

Meanwhile, the independent counsel's office announced that Ray's top deputy, Keith Ausbrook, is leaving his post to become chief counsel to a House investigative subcommittee.

Ausbrook is joining the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on oversight and investigations.