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Clinton Accuser Grilled by Lawyer

November 13, 1997

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) _ Paula Corbin Jones was questioned under oath by President Clinton’s lawyers for nearly eight hours in her sexual harassment lawsuit.

Wednesday’s depositions were taken at a law office only blocks from where Mrs. Jones claims Clinton propositioned her in 1991, when he was Arkansas governor and she was a state employee. Clinton denies the allegation.

Mrs. Jones, her lawyers and spokeswoman Susan Carpenter-McMillan slipped out a guarded entrance without speaking to reporters after Mrs. Jones was questioned. Mrs. Carpenter-McMillan said only that she expected to be back at the law office today.

Before Wednesday’s deposition, Mrs. Carpenter-McMillan said she expected the president’s lawyer, Robert Bennett, to be unrelenting in grilling Mrs. Jones about her claim Clinton summoned her to a hotel suite, exposed himself, and asked her for oral sex May 8, 1991.

``I would anticipate it will be a very grueling morning. I cannot imagine Mr. Bennett going lightly on her at all,″ Mrs. Carpenter-McMillan said. ``But Paula wants her day in court. That has never changed. It won’t change today and it won’t change tomorrow.″

A federal judge has imposed a gag order in the case, prohibiting all parties and their lawyers from discussing pretrial issues.

Lawyers in the case have been taking depositions for several weeks to prepare for the May 27 trial in Little Rock. They plan to question several more people, including Gennifer Flowers, who claims to have had a 12-year relationship with Clinton. The president denies the affair. Ms. Flowers is to be questioned Friday in Dallas.

In the depositions, lawyers have wide latitude in questioning potential witnesses to explore areas that a judge may later declare inadmissible for trial. All lawyers in the case may sit in on the questioning.

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