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Clintons Refuse To Discuss Letters

May 10, 2000

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Clintons’ lawyers signaled Wednesday their clients will refuse to discuss a conversation the president and first lady had in 1998 about releasing personal letters of presidential accuser Kathleen Willey.

In a written response to a lawsuit, the White House stated that the Clintons’ lawyers ``advise us that the substance of discussions between the president and the first lady would be protected by the spousal privilege.″

``Around the time of the decision″ to release the correspondence ``the president discussed the matter with the first lady, (presidential adviser) Mr. James Carville and possibly others whom he does not recall,″ the White House said in a written response to the lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch, a conservative group that is suing the Clinton administration on a number of fronts.

The White House released the exchange of letters between the president and Willey in an attempt to undercut her nationally televised assertion that Clinton had made an unwelcome sexual advance. Presidential aides released the letters the day after the broadcast of Willey’s accusation. Many of the letters between Willey and Clinton were written after the alleged 1993 incident.

In earlier filings in the lawsuit in U.S. District Court, the White House has identified the president, then-White House counsel Charles Ruff, top aide Bruce Lindsey and then-deputy counsel Cheryl Mills as the people who decided to release the Willey letters.

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