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The Jones Case
 Legal Issues

Related Stories

Judge Orders Jones Case Record Unsealed, Barring Appeal - June 30, 1998

Jones Appeal Difficult, But Not Impossible - April 16, 1998

Jones Will Appeal, Sources Say - April 16, 1998

Jones Set To Meet With Her Attorneys - April 15, 1998


Key legal documents from the case.

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Changing Look

Paula Jones has changed lawyers, personal advisors and even her looks. Check out the changes with a JavaScript-enabled browser.

Related Sites

Court TV Online - Jones v. Clinton

Paula Jones Legal Fund Web site

Education and Information Project Web site -- Clinton defense site by James Carville

Full Text Of Jones' Original Complaint



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Clinton Welcomes Jones Decision; Appeal Likely


DAKAR, Senegal (AllPolitics, April 2) -- President Bill Clinton said he is "pleased" that a federal judge dropped Paula Jones' sexual harassment lawsuit against him, and he looks forward to getting back to Washington and getting back to work.

But Jones' lawyers say an appeal is 99 percent certain, so the case may not be over yet.

"I think the judge's opinion speaks for itself," Clinton told reporters in the Senegalese capital on Thursday, where he is wrapping up his six-nation tour of Africa.

"Obviously, I'm pleased with the decision," Clinton said. "I'm very much looking forward to going home and continuing the very ambitious agenda we've got here." icon (316K/30 sec. AIFF or WAV sound)

While Clinton's comments and demeanor were understated, behind the scenes, the president clearly appeared more than "pleased." Clinton was captured Wednesday night by a FOX News camera dancing while playing an African drum and chewing on a cigar in his hotel room.

In a 40-page ruling issued Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright said she dropped Jones' case against the president because the case had no "genuine issues" worthy of trial.

President Clinton's remarks on the dismissal of the suit
icon VXtreme streaming video (1:45)

Wright's ruling came less than two months before the case was scheduled to go to trial. Her surprise legal decision was a big legal victory for Clinton, who wondered, when first informed of the news, if it was an April Fool's joke.

Jones' representatives described her as "very, very hurt," and her legal team is considering an appeal.

Wright granted Clinton's motion for a summary judgment saying Jones' allegations "fall short" of what was required under the law to support the three counts against the president.

First lady was confident of outcome

"Both Bill [Clinton] and I have felt throughout this whole thing that it would turn out fine, either at a trial or more appropriately as the judge ruled, based on the fact there was no evidence to support these groundless claims," first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton told American Urban Radio Network, in Senegal, on Thursday.icon (214K/20 sec. AIFF or WAV sound)

The first lady said she and the president had "paid very little attention" to the Jones case.

News of the judge's dismissal traveled from Arkansas to Senegal to the president as he was wrapping up day 10 of his Africa trip. Clinton got an urgent message to call his private attorney back in Washington.

Bennett had received a call from the court clerk informing him the case had been tossed out.

Sources tell CNN Clinton was stunned. Following a private moment with the first lady, the president then quickly ordered aides not to gloat, and arranged several transcontinental conference calls to plot strategy.

The first couple canceled a shopping excursion to spend the evening in their Dakar hotel suite for their impromptu celebration. The Clintons also spent time on the phone with friends back in the U.S.

While Jones' civil case has been dismissed, Clinton still faces a criminal investigation by Independent Counsel Ken Starr into allegations that the president had a sexual relationship with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky and asked her to lie about it.

Clinton denied the charges, as did Lewinsky in a deposition taken in the Jones case. A grand jury in Washington is investigating these allegations.

A White House aide told CNN, "It's a lot like V.E. [Victory in Europe during World War II] Day. We still have one front to fight."

Starr issued a statement saying that Wright's decision does not affect his probe. "In January, the Attorney General and the special division assigned us to investigate a variety of matters. Judge Wright's ruling today has no effect on our authority, and we will continue working to complete the investigation as expeditiously as possible," Starr said.

Legal battle over a summary judgment

Bennett filed a summary judgment motion in February to have the case dismissed. Lawyers for Jones responded March 13, filing 700 pages of legal arguments and evidence to bolster their argument that the lawsuit should go to trial. In its brief, Jones' team claimed the record before the court "provides good reason to believe that Mr. Clinton and those acting on his behalf have engaged in a vast enterprise to suppress evidence in this case and otherwise corrupt these proceedings."

Bennett had the final word, filing 200 pages of legal documents a week later, once again arguing Jones had failed to establish any legal claim worthy of trial. He called her case "little more than a web of deceit and distortions" and "a politically motivated attack on President Clinton without legal merit that should be dismissed ...."

In Other News

Thursday April 2, 1998

Clinton Welcomes Jones Decision; Appeal Likely
Bowles Testifies Before Grand Jury
Reno Reviewing Allegations Hale Was Paid By Conservative Group
Lawyer: Jones Appeal 99 Percent Likely
Specter Urges Caution On Impeachment
Women Have Mixed Reactions To Dismissal Of Jones' Case

Ken Starr Discusses His Investigation

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