Clinton's Lawyers Ask Judge To Dismiss Jones Suit
LITTLE ROCK (AllPolitics, Aug. 15) -- President Bill Clinton's lawyers today offered a detailed legal critique of the suit filed by Paula Jones and asked a federal judge to dismiss it.
If the suit isn't dismissed, the president's lawyers asked for a methodical pre-trial discovery process that puts off -- for now, anyway -- any questioning of the president on the sexual harassment allegations.
The new briefs filed by Clinton's lawyers answer questions raised by Jones' attorneys, and by federal district judge Susan Webber Wright of Little Rock, Arkansas.
Jones' attorneys are seeking to question Clinton under oath about her allegations that he made improper sexual advances after summoning Jones to a Little Rock hotel room on May 8, 1991.
In arguing for a "phased discovery plan," Clinton's lawyers suggest that other critical witnesses be questioned first, while the court considers whether to dismiss Jones' suit altogether.
Clinton's lawyers propose the parties engage in written questioning, document demands and requests for admitting evidence until the court decides whether the case should proceed.
And the president's lawyers endorse depositions of "non-party witnesses" with information about the case -- witnesses who are not alleged to have been in the hotel room when the alleged encounter took place. This brief also notes that the Supreme Court did give the lower court leeway to take into account the president's busy schedule when determining how to proceed with the case.
In a separate 30-page brief, Clinton lawyer Robert Bennett urges that the case be dismissed on grounds Jones has failed to prove a valid claim under the federal civil rights statute she relies on in her suit.
Specifically, the Bennett brief contends:
The Bennett brief also suggests parts of Jones' claim do not meet the thresholds required under applicable Arkansas law and that parts cannot be considered by the court because they were filed after relevant statutes of limitation had expired.
It closes by requesting, "For all of the foregoing reasons and for the reasons set forth in our opening brief, we respectfully request that the court grant our motion for judgment on the pleadings and dismiss all four counts against the president with prejudice." Dismissing the claim "with prejudice" would prevent Jones from filing her suit again.
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