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Jones attorneys alleged cover-up

By Glen JohnsonAssociated Press Published: March 29, 1998 12:00 AM

WASHINGTON _ Paula Jones' attorneys filed court papers Saturday contending President Clinton obstructed justice by withholding letters, notes and telephone messages between the president and Kathleen Willey until after she accused him of a crude sexual advance on national television.

Mrs. Jones' lawyers said the White House had expressly denied any such documents existed, including records about Ms. Willey's employment, appointments, duties, conferences, logs and telephone records.

The attorneys for Mrs. Jones, who has accused the president of sexual harassment while he was governor of Arkansas, said they asked three months ago for documents concerning Ms. Willey, a volunteer worker at the White House.

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In the days after Ms. Willey made her allegations in a "60 Minutes" interview on March 15, the White House released 17 documents, which consisted of notes, letters and telephone messages.

Some of the letters, signed "Fondly, Kathleen," were cited as evidence that the two remained on good terms even after Clinton allegedly fondled her just outside the Oval Office in November 1993.

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The lawyers said their court filing offers "new evidence of witness tampering and coverup by defendant Clinton."

White House press secretary Mike McCurry, traveling with Clinton in South Africa, referred questions about the court filing to attorney Robert Bennett, who is handling the Jones case for the president.

"I haven't seen the letter, I'm not familiar with it, don't have any comment on it," McCurry said.

The filing, made in Little Rock, Ark., where the harassment lawsuit is slated to go to trial May 27, was not immediately available. Word of the allegations was contained in a news release issued by the Dallas law firm representing Mrs. Jones, Rader, Campbell, Fisher & Pike.

The federal judge handling the case is weighing a motion by Clinton's lawyers to dismiss Mrs. Jones' lawsuit.

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