Friday, August 31, 2001
Lawsuit Against Clintons Assigned to Munoz After Duel of Affidavits
By a MetNews Staff Writer
A suit charging former President Bill Clinton, U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, and two associates with having conspired to subvert campaign finance laws was assigned to Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Aurelio Munoz yesterday following the disqualification of two other judges.
Peter F. Paul, a businessman and former associate of comic book illustrator Stan Lee, claims that he contributed $2 million to Hillary Clinton’s successful campaign in New York last year, but that the contributions were never reported. He alleges that he was induced to make the donations by promises of a future business relationship with Bill Clinton, which never materialized.
Paul said he fears that he will be indicted on election-law charges as a result of the allegedly unreported contributions. He is currently under indictment on unrelated charges of manipulating the stock of now-bankrupt Stan Lee Media, Inc.
Paul is represented by Larry G. Klayman and Sterling E. Norris of Judicial Watch, a conservative legal organization that has filed numerous suits against the Clintons and their associates.
The suit was originally assigned to Judge Ernest Hiroshige, but Klayman and Norris filed an affidavit of prejudice under Code of Civil Procedure Sec. 170.6. Hiroshige is an appointee of Jerry Brown and a longtime member of the Japanese-American Democratic Club.
The case was reassigned to Judge David Workman, who was a member of the Los Angeles County Republican Central Committee for six years prior to his election to the bench in 1980. But Workman was “papered” last week by attorneys from the Los Angeles firm of Smith Kaufman LLP, which represents David Rosen, a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
The case now goes to Munoz, who, like Hiroshige, is a Democrat appointed by Brown. Munoz does not list any affiliations with party groups in his biography.
The former president hasn’t yet appeared in the case. David Kendall of Williams & Connolly, who represented him at his impeachment trial, is representing Hillary Clinton, in association with the Bay Area firm of Remcho, Johansen, & Purcell, which often represents the Democratic Party and its officials.
Rosen, Hillary Clinton, and Aaron Tonken, the producer of a Hollywood fundraising event which Paul claims to have underwritten, have demurred to the complaint. They argue that the allegations, even if true, don’t amount to a valid claim, and that even if they did, the suit is preempted by federal election laws.
Copyright 2001, Metropolitan News Company