Clinton Lawyers: Dismiss Jones Case

President Clinton's lawyers have asked a federal judge to dismiss Paula Jones' sexual harassment lawsuit, accusing her of trying to "humiliate and damage the president."

In their filing Tuesday, the lawyers also said a dismissal would protect future presidents from "frivolous and vexatious litigation."

Mrs. Jones, a former Arkansas state employee, claims Clinton propositioned her in a Little Rock hotel in May 1991 while he was governor and she was working at a state development conference. She says Clinton retaliated when she rejected his advances. She is seeking $525,000.

But in excerpts of her sworn deposition, released Tuesday by Clinton's lawyers to support their request, she said Clinton never threatened her or her job.

In the motion for summary judgment filed with U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright in Little Rock, Arkansas, Clinton's lawyers said that Jones had failed to establish any basis for her complaints.

"President Clinton adamantly denies that he sexually harassed Paula Jones at the Excelsior Hotel on May 8, 1991, or behaved improperly toward her in any way at any time," the 56-page motion said.

The motion added that even if there was a sexual advance, the alleged encounter was not punishable by law because it had not been shown that Jones was denied any job benefits or exposed to a hostile workplace as a result.

One member of Clinton's legal team said the only specific complaint made by Jones was that she failed to get flowers on Secretary's Day one year after her alleged brush with Clinton. And Jones acknowledged that she never examined her employment records before filing the lawsuit in 1994.

Clinton's lawyer, Robert Bennett, said that despite months of gathering evidence, Mrs. Jones has failed to establish her case.

"There's no need even for a trial," he wrote.

It was digging by Jones' lawyers that turned up an alleged relationship between Clinton and former White House intern Monica Lewinsky. This, in turn, triggered an investigation by independent counsel Kenneth Starr that threatens to lead to an effort to drive Clinton from office.

Prosecutors are trying to find out whether Clinton had a sexual relationship with Lewinsky and whether he or other officials encouraged her to lie about it in a sworn statement to Jones' lawyers.

Clinton has denied having such a relationship with Lewinsky or asking her to lie.

Clinton's motion for summary judgment in the Jones case was filed one month ahead of deadline -- the Jones lawsuit is scheduled to go to trial in Little Rock on May 27.

Jones' lawyers have two weeks to file arguments on why the case should not be dismissed.

"We believe that we have enough evidence to corroborate that there's a pattern and practice of the president giving favors and jobs for sex," John Whitehead, who heads the nonprofit legal foundation financing the Jones case, aid.

"The bottom line here is that this is an attempt to avoid a trial that will embarrass the president," Whitehead said.

Wright could rule on the motion to throw out the lawsuit any time after the Jones legal team files its response, legal experts said.

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