Dissent in Jones Camp

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WASHINGTON: Where's the money? As Paula Jones' lawyers made their arguments, details were emerging Friday of a serious spat between her backers over who is bankrolling her case -- and where all the public donations have gone. Via mail and website, the Paula Jones Legal Fund raised upwards of $100,000 for what it calls "litigation expenses." But the Rutherford Institute, the nonprofit group that pays Jones’ legal bills, has cried foul. “We have not received any money from the Paula Jones Legal Fund,” said spokeswoman Nisha Mohammed.

In fact, the fund was turned over to Jones herself -- to be used, sources say, for tickets to Little Rock or clothing for TV interviews. All perfectly legitimate, but hardly litigious expenses. And that, according to TIME White House correspondent Jay Branegan is what got Rutherford all riled up. "They want truth in advertising," says Branegan. Especially when Jones' legal costs are spiralling up towards $800,000, and Rutherford itself has only raised $139,000.

Which is why Rutherford Institute chief Paul Whitehead fired off a series of angry letters last November to Everly & Associates, the frontmen for Paula's legal fund. His threats included taking Everly to the IRS. Everly replied that Whitehead was not taking a very Christian attitude. Whitehead's response to that was unprintable.

Since then, an uneasy truce has settled over the Jones campaign. "There's a ceasefire," says Branegan. "Whitehead is not happy about this fund, but he's not going to do anything about it." Except, that is, for unconfirmed reports that Whitehead has turned over copies of those letters to Judge James Henry Michael in Charlottesville, who is investigating President Clinton’s claims that Paula Jones brought her suit for personal profit. If that is true, Whitehead may have taken his ultimate revenge on the Legal Fund -- and shot the Jones case in the foot.