Sex scandal saga swings in Clinton's favour

As the muddled saga of the President and Paula Jones - the Arkansas receptionist who alleges improper advances in a Little Rock hotel room - chunters slowly in the direction of the courtroom confrontation for which all America lusts, the balance of advantage is unexpectedly shifting in President Bill Clinton's favour.

In recent days, new claims have called into question some of the allegations made against Mr Clinton - allegations regarded hitherto as the only solid elements in ever-shifting sands of unverifiable accusations.

At the centre of the claims is a group of Arkansas state troopers who belonged to Mr Clinton's security detail in 1991, when he was state governor and when Ms Jones says she was called to a room at the Excelsior hotel and asked for oral sex.

Several of the troopers had claimed that they regularly procured women for Mr Clinton while he was governor of Arkansas, and kept guard outside hotel rooms while he took his pleasure. They had supplied this information to the anti-Clinton magazine, The American Spectator, among others, which printed its expose about Mr Clinton's Arkansas years soon after he came to office in 1993.

Now, one of the troopers, Ronald Anderson, stands accused by his one- time lawyer in the New Yorker magazine of wrongly verifying his colleagues' tales of Mr Clinton's infidelities in the hope that they would all profit. A second trooper, Danny Ferguson, who is said to have taken Ms Jones to the hotel room, reportedly tried to sell his story first for $1m.

Then last week, the generally pro-Clinton Washington Post disclosed that Kenneth Starr, the independent prosecutor appointed to look into another Clinton "scandal" - the Whitewater land deal - was extending his investigations to include Mr Clinton's past sex-life. This time, too, the information came from former state troopers, who said they had recently been questioned on the subject.

The Washington Post story led to an outcry from an American public that is firmly of the view that Mr Clinton's past sex-life is none of Mr Starr's business.

A third shift in Mr Clinton's favour was provided by the resignation of Daniel Traylor as Ms Jones's Arkansas lawyer. He said he disliked the approach of the Jones family, and complained that Ms Jones's charge - that she had observed "distinguishing characteristics" on Mr Clinton's private parts - had not featured in her original testimony to him. Thus is Ms Jones's veracity called into question.

The conjunction of these developments raises many questions. Why is the truthfulness of the troopers being challenged now? Did anyone suggest to Mr Traylor that he might step down? And what has Mr Clinton's lawyer, Bob Bennett, been doing recently?

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Consultant - London - £65,000 OTE.

£65000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Engineer - central London ...

Recruitment Genius: Physiotherapist / Sports Therapist

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Physiotherapist / Sports Ther...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive / Advisor

£8 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives / Advisors are required...

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Operative

£14000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable