- The Washington Times - Monday, September 25, 2006

A Los Angeles superior court judge yesterday said he could not rule on a complaint filed by a Hollywood producer in a lawsuit accusing President Clinton and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of reneging on a multimillion-dollar Internet deal until a pending appeal in the case is settled.

State Superior Court Judge Aurelio N. Munoz said he could not rule on the complaint filed by Peter F. Paul until an appeal by Paul challenging a decision granting Mrs. Clinton First Amendment immunity in the case is resolved.

In April, Mrs. Clinton invoked a California law that protects candidates from being silenced by frivolous lawsuits during their election campaigns.

In the complaint, Paul, a convicted felon, said Mrs. Clinton, New York Democrat, orchestrated a scheme to convince him to spend $1.9 million on campaign fundraisers before her November 2000 election to the Senate and then failed to honor promises on the Internet deal.

The complaint seeks $30 million in stock losses and $1.9 million in cash.

Paul has claimed in the lawsuit the Clintons “looted” his business to generate the largest contribution to Mrs. Clinton’s 2000 Senate campaign in New York. He said he was “cajoled and then coerced” by Mr. Clinton as “an erstwhile future business partner” to make expenditures to benefit the president and his wife.

He produced and underwrote an August 2000 fundraiser called the “Gala Hollywood Farewell Salute to President William Jefferson Clinton,” attended by numerous Hollywood celebrities.

A trial date in the case is set for March 27.

The Clintons’ attorney, David Kendall, did not return calls for comment. He previously has declined to talk with reporters about the case.

Paul also challenged a statement by Mr. Kendall in an affidavit yesterday, saying the Washington lawyer sought to mislead the court with an erroneous claim in a court filing seeking to quash the pending lawsuit.

He said Mr. Kendall wrongly asserted in the filing that Paul admitted during a March 2005 court hearing that he caused the collapse of his company, Stan Lee Media. In his lawsuit, Paul has said Mr. Clinton’s refusal to honor an agreement to act as a “rainmaker” for the company led to its demise.

Paul said that in the affidavit, Mr. Kendall misleadingly combined two separate statements to suggest the producer was admitting fault for Stan Lee’s demise. Paul said the affidavit joined together his allocution remarks on his guilty plea to a Securities and Exchange Commission violation with a final statement Paul made to the judge at the end of the hearing, which was not part of the allocution.

A federal court ruled in 2003 that Paul’s SEC violations did not cause the stock of Stan Lee Media to collapse, but were intended to help the company survive.

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