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Jones Lawyers Pursue Lewinsky Link

Two months after the trial judge rejected the use of Monica Lewinsky-related evidence in Paula Jones' lawsuit against President Clinton, Jones' lawyers are asking an appeals court to allow the information into the sexual harassment case.


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The Jones attorneys were filing written arguments today with the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis, hoping to use Lewinsky's case as another example of Mr. Clinton connecting sex with employment.

The president has denied any sexual encounter with either Jones while he was governor of Arkansas or Lewinsky at the White House.

Meanwhile, a former Miss America whose testimony is being sought in the Jones lawsuit, Elizabeth Ward Gracen, has told the New York Daily News that she had sex with Mr. Clinton when he was governor of Arkansas, but she insists it was consensual.

In seeking reversal of orders by U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright, Jones' lawyers said in a statement Monday: "The district court's orders ... elevate White House damage control to constitutional heights, while ignoring the fundamental rights of Mrs. Jones."

While the Jones legal team was focused on their appellate filing, lawyers for Mr. Clinton submitted arguments to Wright in Little Rock, Ark., seeking a contempt citation against Jones' attorneys.

The Clinton attorneys accused lawyers for Jones of violating a gag order imposed by Wright and disclosing the identity of a woman who, according to papers filed by Jones' attorneys, allegedly was sexually assaulted by Mr. Clinton more than 20 years ago.

The Clinton filing included an affidavit and deposition from the woman denying Mr. Clinton had made any unwelcome sexual advances.

Jones contends she was denied proper pay raises and advancement in her Arkansas government job after she refused a sexual overture by Mr. Clinton in 1991. Clinton has said he can't recall meeting Jones and denies any such incident took place.

The Jones lawyers have submitted depositions in which witnesses said the president offered or provided government jobs to women who went along with his sexual advances - and were willing to keep silent about them.

In denying use of evidence related to Lewinsky, Wright in January ruled that "the substantial interests of the presidency militate against any undue delay in this matter that would be occasioned by allowing plaintiff to pursue the Monica Lewinsky matter."2

The judge added that "a speedy resolution of this case is in everyone's best interests, including that of the Office of the President." She reaffired her decision earlier this month.

In their request for a contempt order against the Jones attorneys, the president's lawyers accused the Jones camp of trying to "taint the jury pool" with false information and with using her lawsuit "as a stalking horse for the investigation being conducted by independent counsel" Kenneth Starr.

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

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