Gennifer Flowers’ suit moves forward

By Jon Dougherty

A federal appeals court ruled yesterday that a defamation case brought by a former lover of ex-President Bill Clinton could move ahead into the discovery phase.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court’s decision, ruling that a defamation and conspiracy lawsuit filed by Gennifer Flowers against former first lady and now Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., Democratic Party strategist James Carville and former White House communications director George Stephanopoulos may proceed.

The suit alleges that Clinton, along with Carville and Stephanopoulos, “embarked on a smear campaign to destroy Ms. Flowers’ reputation,” according to a statement released yesterday by Judicial Watch, the Washington, D.C.-based public-interest law firm handling Flowers’ suit.

The suit alleges that Clinton and the other defendants “conspired to smear her with false accusations that Ms. Flowers ‘doctored’ tape recordings of Bill Clinton and that she lied about her affair with him,” said the law firm.

“Gennifer Flowers claims that defendants knew she was telling the truth … but accused her of being a liar and a fraud anyway,” said the ruling, issued by Judge Alex Kozinski, writing on behalf of the three-judge appeals panel. “If Flowers’ claims are true, her suit does not offend the First Amendment.”

Flowers claims Stephanopoulos continued the defamation in his book, “All Too Human,” when he published what she claims is false information about her.

“The appeals court ruled that no one is above the law and that Hillary Clinton and her cohorts cannot allegedly smear innocents such as Gennifer Flowers without consequence,” said Larry Klayman, Judicial Watch chairman and chief counsel.

“Ms. Flowers is gratified to be back in court against those who did her so much damage,” he added. “We look forward to deposing Hillary Clinton, George Stephanopoulos and James Carville under oath and holding them accountable to the full extent of the law at trial.”

Reports of Flowers’ sexual involvement with then-Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton surfaced during his first run for president in 1991.

Mr. Clinton initially denied that he had a multi-year relationship with Flowers, but later admitted to it.

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