Although a federal court judge accused President Clinton of using
“deceptions and falsehoods in an attempt to obstruct justice” in the
Paula Jones case, Clinton now claims it was just good strategy and that
he did nothing dishonorable.
Clinton has finally offered a defense for his widely-publicized lying
in the Jones case in an effort to avoid being disbarred as a lawyer in
his home state of Arkansas. Although his 85-page written response to the
complaint has not been made public, WorldNetDaily has learned about the
general content of Clinton’s defense.
“He’s done something that’s seriously wrong, and because of who he
is, because he holds the highest office in the land, and in effect he
uses that position to damage the profession, I think that only something
like disbarment will set things right,” said L. Lynn Hogue, the attorney
who filed the initial charges against Clinton in the disbarment case.
Hogue’s complaint could result in the first disbarment of a sitting
president. His complaint was first filed with the Arkansas Committee on
Professional Conduct in September 1998.
Hogue’s complaint was based on Clinton’s untruthful testimony in the
Paula Jones case. Later, Federal District Court Judge Susan Webber
Wright, who presided over the Jones case, added to the complaint when
she issued a civil contempt citation for Clinton’s misrepresentations
Despite the complaints from both Hogue and Wright, James Neal, the
executive director of the committee, failed to take any action. Hogue
went directly to the Arkansas Supreme Court in a historic filing that
resulted in a writ of mandamus, forcing the reluctant Neal to proceed
with the complaint against Clinton.
Neal notified Clinton of the complaint against him, and recently
Clinton returned a written response to the committee. Hogue is now in
the process of writing a rebuttal.
L. Lynne Hogue (left), representing the Southeastern Legal
An Arkansas attorney and law professor at Georgia State University,
Hogue said he was only too happy to represent the
Foundation, a public interest, non-profit law firm. No other Arkansas attorney could be located who would take on the case, or serve as co-counsel with Hogue, according to Matthew J. Glavin, president of the Southeastern Legal Foundation.
“I feel very passionately about the integrity of the profession,” Hogue told WorldNetDaily in an exclusive interview.
“I believe that action must be taken when a prominent Arkansas lawyer, somebody who’s known to be an Arkansas lawyer, and happens to be the president of the United States, and engages in conduct that involves lying, dishonesty, obstruction of justice — and this is known.
“He goes through a civil contempt proceeding before a federal judge, and she finds that he has done these things, he’s assessed a fine, all of these things say to me that the integrity of the profession is damaged by this kind of activity.
“I thought it was important to step forward and say this man has to be held to account. Lawyers don’t enjoy a very high level of esteem in society. Anything that gives us a black eye makes things worse for us, and I thought he was an embarrassment to the profession, and that some kind of accountability needed to happen,” explained Hogue.
Clinton’s response to the complaint by Hogue is privileged and can only be made public by Clinton and his lawyer, David Kendall. Hogue said he is unable to provide a copy of the document, but he was willing to discuss it in general terms. Hogue will quote from Clinton’s response in his rebuttal, and the rebuttal will be made public.
“To me, the response is 80-some pages long, but it is really wide of the mark,” commented Hogue. “It is really nothing that hasn’t been said before. … It makes the claim that the president is not above the law, but the president is not below the law. That the president is entitled to certain basic considerations as a litigant. In the Paula Jones case, and when he was deposed before the grand jury … that basically he was entitled to play his cards close to his chest. And frankly, I think that analysis is quite wrong.”
Hogue says Clinton is trying to get away with dishonesty by saying his actions were nothing more than legal strategy, and that he had a right to take advantage of any opportunity he could find.
“… It is, in fact, the same defense that was made during the impeachment proceedings,” explained Hogue. “That there was an ambiguity, and that was [the meaning of] ‘sexual relations,’ and therefore I didn’t truly answer falsely, though I certainly didn’t tell the truth and I misled people.”
Hogue said he had to go to the Arkansas Supreme Court to force the committee to follow the rules. He believes the committee will now be careful to follow the rules and guidelines very closely. If they do, disbarment is the only course of action possible, said Hogue.
Just to be sure the committee doesn’t miss anything, Hogue said he plans to include those portions of the rules that Clinton has violated within his rebuttal.
“If you look at the code of professional responsibility, which are the rules under which we’re playing in Arkansas, dishonesty is something that lawyers can’t engage in, first of all. And it also indicates that when a lawyer holds public office, lawyers expect it. The sort of dichotomy about ‘the president is not above the law but not below the law,’ really apprehends the special responsibility that the rules impose on the lawyer who holds public office.
“That’s what Clinton is. He’s the lawyer who holds public office. He doesn’t have a public life and a private life. He has one life. A unified, coherent life that’s spread in the papers for good or ill. And when he uses that position to further dishonesty, and has dishonesty identified with him as a lawyer, he commits disbarable offenses. And that’s it. That’s the whole case in a nutshell.”
Despite being very apologetic for his actions, Clinton makes clear in his written response that he did nothing wrong. Glavin described Clinton’s effort to “defend the indefensible” as “pathetic.”
Hogue expects to complete his rebuttal and send it to the committee by the end of the week. The committee expects to complete its work on the complaint by May 19, the date of their next scheduled meeting.