Jones', Clinton's Lawyers Meet To Make Deposition Plans
By Bob Franken/CNN
WASHINGTON (Jan. 13) -- Lawyers for both sides in the Paula Jones case held an unannounced private meeting in Arkansas Monday with the federal judge in the case, Susan Webber Wright.
As CNN first reported Monday night, the attorneys secretly met with Wright to discuss the "parameters" for President Bill Clinton's deposition, still scheduled to take place Saturday in Washington.
Sources tell CNN final arrangements were made for Clinton's deposition, although it's unclear whether the sworn statement will be moved away from the White House.
Wherever it is held, Paula Jones is "definitely" expected to be there, said a source.
The Washington Times reported today that the meeting was called to consider complaints that Clinton attorney Robert Bennett had violated the judge's strict gag order about the current "discovery" phase of the case.
In a highly unusual move, the judge issued a news release, denying the Times story, though confirming the CNN story.
The complete text of Wright's press release reads:
"The court has received several inquiries regarding a news article concerning a meeting in Pine Bluff, Arkansas between this court and the attorneys representing the parties in the case of Jones V. Clinton.
"To the extent the news article suggests otherwise, the purpose of the meeting was to set parameters for the president's deposition. The meeting was not to discuss sanctions or any alleged violations of the confidentiality order on consent of all parties.
"Counsel for all parties have agreed to the issuance of this press release," the judge said.
Meanwhile, sources say the recent discussions of a $2 million settlement demand from Jones are based on discussions "of two months ago."
One source close to the case was pessimistic about an out-of-court settlement. "Don't look for one," he said.
The case is scheduled to go to trial in late May.