Arkansas Lawyers Recuse Themselves From Clinton Case

July 7, 2008 - 7:02 PM

(CNSNews.com) - Two more members of the Arkansas Supreme Court Committee on Professional Conduct have recused themselves from reviewing an ethics complaint filed against President Bill Clinton.

James Neal, the committee's executive director, told reporters in Little Rock that members Carlton Bailey and Richard Reid notified the committee staff by letters that they will not "participate in any matters relating to Mr. Clinton that may be considered by the committee."

Neal declined to release the letters to reporters.

Bailey is an associate professor of law at the University of Arkansas School of law in Fayetteville. Reid has been a lawyer in Arkansas since 1957.

Reid has contributed to Democratic congressional candidates and the Arkansas Democratic party. No members of the committee have given campaign contributions to Republican candidates.

Bailey and Reid's recusals bring to three the number of committee members declining to hear the Clinton case. Dick Hatfield of Little Rock recused himself on February 17. Hatfield contributed to Clinton's 1992 and 1996 presidential campaigns and several state and national Democrats.

The Southeastern Legal Foundation (SLF) filed a complaint asking the committee to disbar Clinton. The president has sixteen days remaining to respond to the allegations.

The complaint stems from Clinton's testimony in the Paula Jones case. In addition, Federal Judge Susan Webber Wright forwarded to the committee her order finding Clinton in contempt of court during proceeding in Wright's court in the Paula Jones lawsuit and the investigation by special prosecutor Kenneth Starr.

Wright said Clinton gave "intentionally false" testimony in the Jones case about his relationship with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

Wright fined Clinton $90,686, a ruling Clinton declined to challenge.