Dan Rather could have made millions of dollars more per year if CBS had not defrauded him before firing him, his lawyer said Tuesday.

Martin Gold discussed the finances after a hearing on Rather’s ongoing $70 million breach-of-contract lawsuit. Rather said he was removed from the evening news anchor chair and given little to do after a disputed September 2004 “60 Minutes II” story about President Bush’s military service.

CBS’ lawyers said Rather was paid everything he was owed and the network used his talents as the contract required.

Gold said the network was supposed to use Rather on other news shows or pay and let him go.

Gold said CBS held on to the 77-year-old newsman and denied him a chance to take a $4 million-a-year job at another network. The lawyer said Rather now earns about $1.5 million at the high-definition TV network HDNet.

Judicial Hearing Officer Ira Gammerman dismissed Rather’s earlier fraud claim while letting other parts of the case continue. He said Tuesday he would consider Gold’s request to be filed as an amended fraud claim.

Rather left CBS on June 16, 2006, after more than 40 years at the network.

Associated Press