As Paula Jones' attorneys try to keep alive her lawsuit against President Clinton, the group paying her lawyers' expenses is threatening to complain to authorities that her personal legal defense fund is deceiving contributors.
Jones' lawyers were to file arguments Friday in federal court in Little Rock, Ark., as to why her her sexual harassment case should go to trial as scheduled May 27. Clinton's attorneys told the court last month the suit should be dismissed.Jones' lawyers are trying to show a pattern of women benefiting or suffering harm on the job, depending on how they responded to Clinton's alleged sexual advances. The lawyers could provide to the court statements of women who gave depositions, and could make public Clinton's deposition in the case from Jan. 17.
The president has denied Jones' claim that he asked her for oral sex in 1991 and was responsible for denying her proper raises and advancement as a result.
The Rutherford Institute, a conservative law firm in Charlottesville, Va., is helping Jones' lawyers with their legal case while raising money for the attorneys' expenses.
But even as the institute works on her legal case, it has threatened to go to the Internal Revenue Service and state attorneys general to argue the Paula Jones Legal Fund is misleading contributors, according to an individual familiar with the dispute.
The fund is under the control of Jones and her husband, and asks contributors to support her litigation expenses. Neither Rutherford nor her law firm has received any money from the Jones-controlled fund, said John Whitehead of Rutherford Institute.
Brent Perry, a Houston lawyer who represents the legal fund, has said its disbursements "have been necessary and appropriate."