Paula Jones' lawyers offered in a court filing Tuesday to postpone her sexual harassment trial against President Clinton if they can get evidence on Monica Lewinsky admitted without harming a parallel criminal investigation.
In written arguments to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis, Jones' lawyers contended the trial judge in Little Rock, Ark., went too far in shutting out all Lewinsky-related evidence from their case.Jones, who contends she was given a dead-end Arkansas government job for refusing sex with then-Gov. Clinton, is citing the experiences of other women to argue that Clinton linked employment with sex.
"The district court sacrificed vital evidence on the altar of unverified presidential convenience," the Jones legal team protested. Trial before U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright now set for May 27 in Little Rock.
The president has denied any sexual encounter with either Jones while he was governor of Arkansas or Lewinsky at the White House.
At a federal grand jury here, meanwhile, the president's chief of Oval Office operations, Nancy Hernreich, testified Tuesday for the fourth time.
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 Clinton when he was governor of Arkansas, but she insists it was consensual. Gracen, 37, a former Miss Arkansas who became Miss America in 1982, previously has denied any liaison with Clinton.
In an interview Tuesday, the Daily News reported Gracen said she was coming forward at this time to rebut allegations that he forced himself on her. The alleged encounter occurred in 1983 in Little Rock, Ark., the newspaper said.