March 31, 1998 in Nation/World

Jones’ Team Accused Of Violating Gag Order Clinton’s Lawyers Demand Contempt Citation

David A. Lieb Associated Press
 
Tags:ethics

President Clinton’s lawyers on Monday said Paula Jones’ legal team should be cited with contempt for violating a gag order and disclosing the identity of a woman allegedly assaulted by Clinton more than 20 years ago.

The president’s lawyers said Jones’ lawyers were trying to “taint the jury pool” with false information and were using Jones’ lawsuit “as a stalking horse for the investigation being conducted by independent counsel” Kenneth Starr.

Jones’ lawyers had filed court papers Saturday saying they had evidence of a 1970s sexual assault and contending that Clinton obstructed justice by withholding correspondence about Kathleen Willey until after she went on national television to accuse him of making a crude sexual advance.

Clinton’s lawyers responded Monday by asking U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright to strike the materials from the record. They also asked that Jones’ lawyers be held in contempt of court and required to file all future court papers under seal.

Lawyers for Jones did not immediately return a telephone message.

Starr spokeswoman Deborah Gershman said, “We are not working in collaboration with the lawyers for Paula Jones.”

Clinton’s lawyers contend their legal opponents are “loading up the public record” with salacious material that isn’t supposed to be made public. Specifically, they say Jones’ lawyers violated an Oct. 30 secrecy order and an oral order March 10 to use the generic name “Jane Doe” for any women wanting to retain their privacy.

Jones’ lawyers on Saturday identified a registered nurse from Arkansas that they said was the victim of a sexual assault by then-Attorney General Bill Clinton. They also made public a 1992 letter in which Phillip David Yoakum, an acquaintance of the woman, writes to her.

In the letter, Yoakum says she confided to him an incident which he says took place 14 years earlier in a hotel room during a conference of the Arkansas State Nursing Home Association in Little Rock.

Clinton lawyer Robert Bennett said Saturday that releasing the material was “an act of desperation by reckless and irresponsible lawyers who know they have a weak case in the Paula Jones case.”

Clinton’s court filing Monday included an affidavit and deposition from the woman denying that Clinton had made any unwelcome sexual advances toward her.

Jones’ lawyers have been tracking down women in an attempt to show a pattern of behavior in which Clinton made sexual advances, rewarding those who succumbed and seeking to silence those who didn’t.

Jones’ lawsuit claims Clinton propositioned her in a Little Rock hotel room in 1991 when he was governor and she was a state employee. He has denied the allegation.


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