Estrich and Taylor Jr.

From: Susan Estrich
Subject: Start the Coffee
Posted Monday, Sept. 28, 1998, at 2:08 PM ET

Dear Stuart:

What timing.

Here we are, back at Slate, just in time for the President to settle the Paula Jones lawsuit. The unthinkable becomes a footnote. What a difference a year can make. If he’d settled it before his January deposition, none of this would have happened. All he had to do was say he was sorry for whatever it was that he couldn’t remember, and then explain the next day that he said it to protect his friends, family, etc. from the intrusion on their privacy….

Which leads me to my favorite question. Why didn’t he settle before testifying? How could his lawyers have ever let him go into that deposition, if they’d known how vulnerable he was? Here he is being sued for allegedly demanding a blowjob from a 24-year-old employee, and you know your client had a secret relationship involving blowjobs with another 24-year-old employee would you let him go into a deposition? Not to mention the independent counsel down the block, the media, your political enemies, etc.

The only explanation that makes sense to me is that the lawyers didn’t know the truth–that they thought Monica Lewinsky was a stalker with a crush, that it was handled, under control. The lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client; he loses the objective judgment that the lawyer is supposed to provide. Bill Clinton didn’t want to tell his lawyer (and/or his wife) the truth about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky, and because of that, he’s had to tell the world….

But does the world care?

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