FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: MELINDA SHELTON, 202-331-0066 x767; KRISTIN ST. JOHN, x773
The President's lawyer, Bob Bennett, clarified yesterday that he has no intention of trying to introduce Paula Jones' sexual history in court. Bennett also complains that it is "grossly unfair" to suggest he would dredge up and spread around dirt on Jones. He's not stupid, he argues. He'd have to answer to his wife and daughters if he did, and President Clinton wouldn't let him do it anyway.
Bennett's clarification and complaint would ring truer if at the same time someone had not been leaking new details of an affidavit, obtained by Clinton's legal team, with allegedly damaging information about Jones.
When I was in law school, I heard that the perfect rape survivor from the prosecution's perspective is a female old enough to tell her story, but too young to have had a smoke, a drink or a date. It is a classic defense to charges of sexual misconduct to try to discredit and intimidate women who bring such charges by portraying them as "easy" women.
We are concerned not just about what Bennett may try to introduce at trial, but about how President Clinton's team conducts the whole of his defense. Revelation of new allegations about Jones' past sexual and employment history is not a good sign.
As hearings on sexual misconduct in the military continue, the commander-in-chief must take to heart the warning "loose lips sink ships" and ensure that his legal team treats irrelevant information on Paula Jones not used in the trial as classified.
The Supreme Court has told us that President Clinton is an ordinary citizen for purposes of the legal proceedings. But he is also the president, and we expect him to lead by example in the case.
Link to this press release at http://www.now.org/press/06-97/06-05-97.html
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