Treasury Investigating IRS Audit, Jones' Lawyers Say
LONG BEACH, Calif. (AllPolitics, Jan. 7) -- An IRS audit of Paula Jones and her husband is the subject of a Treasury Department investigation, Jones' attorneys said late Tuesday.
Jones is suing President Bill Clinton for sexual harassment, alleging that as governor of Arkansas he made improper sexual advances toward her in a Little Rock hotel room. Clinton has said he does not recall ever meeting her.
Attorney Donovan Campbell said Jones met with Treasury investigators for nearly two hours Tuesday evening. No details of the meeting were offered.
"We are not conducting this investigation. The Treasury Department is conducting this investigation," Campbell said. "We didn't ask for it."
Jones, who did not speak at the press conference, released a written statement:
"We are very pleased that the Treasury Department is responsible and
responsive enough to conduct an official examination of the very suspect
circumstances surrounding the initiation of this tax audit."
"We can only hope that these investigators will be allowed to conduct this inquiry diligently, vigorously and without outside pressure from political sources," the statement said.
Campbell said that the investigation by the Treasury inspector general's office was prompted by "certain elements in Congress," but said he did not know which representatives or how many were involved.
"Our understanding is that it didn't come from Congress as a whole," he said, "but it derived from Congressmen."
Clinton's lawyer, Robert Bennett, said to reporters at a Dallas hotel that the probe was prompted by Congressional Republicans who "want to humiliate the president."
"I wish somebody pressed him (Campbell) on who those people are. I'm sure we'll find that those people are the same people who have been trying to beat up on President Clinton since the beginning."
While the attorneys said that there was "no evidence" to prove the audit of the Joneses was politically motivated, "It's fair to say that the timing concerns us," attorney Brent Perry said. "We're not inside the IRS, but it does appear that the timing is suspicious."
Campbell said that the IRS notice of the Jones audit was dated and mailed September 8, 1997, the same day Jones' original attorneys asked to withdraw from the case. The withdrawal reportedly came after talks over settling the lawsuit broke down.
Jones alleges that in 1991, when Clinton was governor of Arkansas and she was a state employee, Clinton exposed himself and asked for oral sex. She is suing for $525,000.
In her complaint, which was recently modified, Jones alleges that Clinton granted raises and promotions to female employees who submitted to his sexual advances.