The Paula Jones legal team has assumed a take-it-or-leave-it posture on its $1 million proposal to settle her sexual harassment suit, leaving President Clinton to decide whether he wants to still fight the case along with looming House impeachment proceedings, legal sources said Saturday.
The sources, familiar with the thinking of the Jones camp, said her attorneys are "resolved not to make further concessions" - even though the president's attorney made the last counteroffer.The Jones offer would not require an apology by Clinton, once such a priority for her that she rejected a monetary settlement because the president wouldn't give her one.
She now believes the president's admission of sexual misconduct with Monica Lewinsky vindicates her story of an unwanted sexual advance by Clinton in 1991, her lawyers said last week.
White House officials and Clinton attorney Robert Bennett have refused numerous requests for comment on the negotiations.
Clinton advisers fear problems stemming from the case, while impeachment proceedings loom in the House, could be politically devastating. If there's no settlement, Clinton could face possible contempt proceedings in federal court or testimony involving conduct with other women.
A settlement, on the other hand, would fit into Clinton's "plea bargain" strategy in Congress - acceptance of a censure to avoid a prolonged impeachment inquiry.
Jones' Dallas-based lawyers have characterized their offer of several weeks ago as "an attempt to resolve this quickly," a legal source said.
The Jones team "is not going to negotiate and not going to make a further offer," so Clinton should not expect one, the source said.
The Jones camp sought to make a clear distinction between its latest offer and past discussions, when figures were traded back and forth.