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Files From Paula Jones Lawsuit Released Prior to Appeals Case

By Peter Baker
The Washington Post
WASHINGTON

Lawyers for President Clinton and Paula Jones waged a stop-at-nothing series of legal battles under the cloak of court-ordered secrecy last winter that delved into everything from medical records about his private parts to testimony about her sex life, according to documents unsealed Monday.

The papers released on the eve of an appeals court clash in the Jones case demonstrated that the president mounted a vigorous counteroffensive to her lawyers' much-publicized attempts to uncover any Clinton sexual misconduct, examining Jones's fund-raising solicitations, efforts to secure a book contract and alleged barroom encounters with men.

Clinton's legal team raised the issue of Jones's sexual history in a brief filed Jan. 7 - as it turned out, the same day Monica S. Lewinsky signed an affidavit falsely denying any sexual relationship with Clinton. The president's lawyers wrote that their research proved Jones was no "innocent minister's daughter" who would be traumatized at being propositioned by their client. Indeed, they cited a deposition from a man who testified she engaged in oral sex with him in the parking lot of a bar the same night they met, just months before the alleged May 8, 1991, incident with Clinton.

The filings included little new information about Clinton's alleged relations with other women, much of which was made public before the case was dismissed. But they revealed that Jones's lawyers tried unsuccessfully to subpoena two of the president's doctors to testify about the condition of his anatomy to determine whether it matched the "distinguishing characteristics" their client had described and whether he had surgery that would alter its appearance.

The motions, briefs and affidavits were unsealed and posted on the Internet by U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright, just a day before an appeals court will hear oral arguments about whether to overturn Wright's decision to throw out the sexual harassment lawsuit.

Bennett on Sunday flatly rejected an offer by Jones to withdraw her appeal in exchange for a $1 million payment from the president and another $1 million from Abe Hirschfeld, a real estate developer.