Clinton Lawyers To Receive Jones Case Expense Records
WASHINGTON (Allpolitics Jan. 15) -- President Bill Clinton's lawyers in the Paula Jones sexual harassment lawsuit will receive a list of case expenditures from the organization financing Jones' suit.
In exchange, Clinton's lawyers have agreed to drop their request for a donor list and depositions from the Rutherford Institute.
The president's attorneys maintain that Jones has personally benefited from the fund and want the institute's financial records to support that claim. The institute and Jones deny the accusations.
"There are no checks for Paula Jones" in its disbursements,
institute lawyer Thomas Neuberger said Wednesday. All money
has been used for legal expenses such as travel for
depositions, he said.
Last month the presiding judge in the case, U.S. District Judge Susan Wright of Little Rock, Ark., ordered the institute to give Clinton's lawyers all documents relating to fund-raising, public relations strategy and taxes.
With the backing of the American Civil Liberties Union, the conservative institute challenged the ruling and asked for an open court hearing on its challenge. The institute claimed that the president's lawyers were conducting a "witch hunt" and attempting to damage the tax-exempt status of the organization.
U.S. District Judge James Harry Michael Jr.announced Wednesday that no hearing would be necessary and the seal would remain on the case. Michael's statement followed a meeting in chambers with Neuberger and Clinton attorney Katharine Sexton via phone.
Sexton said the deal "satisfied our needs" and would not comment further due to the gag order.
The Rutherford Institute was founded in 1982 and typically deals with religious freedom cases. According to Neuberger, the Jones case is only the second sexual harassment case supported by the institute.
Its support of Jones is "to help the powerless against the powerful, to show that the most powerful can be brought into a court of law," Neuberger said.
Jones claims that in 1991 then-Gov. Clinton asked her to perform a sexual act in a Arkansas hotel room. The president denies the allegations and says he doesn't remember meeting Jones.
Clinton is scheduled to give a deposition Saturday. The trial is set to begin in late May.