Trouble for Paula Jones

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LITTLE ROCK: There's a bunch of bad news for the Paula Jones team: Judge Susan Webber Wright has ruled that her decision to bar Lewinsky-related evidence from the case is permanent. The White House has made it clear that the President will not testify at the trial. And David Brock, the man who introduced the world to "a woman known only as Paula" in his infamous Troopergate story, has admitted he made a mistake -- not only in assaulting Clinton's character, but also in identifying the woman the then-governor supposedly had brought to his hotel room. "I should have removed the name," writes Brock. "It was just an oversight."

Special Report Without his words, no one knows if Jones -- who began her suit after Brock's article appeared in the American Spectator in 1993 -- would be embroiled in legal action today. "The ironic thing for the President," notes TIME White House correspondent Jay Branegan, "is that if no one connects 'Paula' to Paula Jones, she doesn't file her sexual harassment suit and the name Monica Lewinsky never even comes up." Now Brock has retracted his story, and Jones' case is crumbling. Her lawyers are expected to go to appeal Tuesday in a bid to get the Lewinsky evidence reinstated. But as Judge Wright says, it proves nothing about Jones' own alleged harassment -- and "would frustrate the timely resolution of this case." Next up: Wright rules on the Clinton team's motion to dismiss the suit altogether for lack of evidence. For Jones, the worst may be yet to come.