Paula Jones accused President Clinton, then Governor of Arkansas, of having a trooper bring her up to his hotel room, whereupon he made unwanted sexual advances toward her. Jones filed claims the act occurred prior to Clinton becoming President, but sued while he was President of the United States.
Whether a President can claim executive immunity for acts that are alleged to have occurred prior to his election as President and for acts undertaken in a private capacity.
No, the immunity is not valid in this case. The President is subject to private law suit for conduct prior to entering the office. The President, moreover, may not defer the litigation until after the office term expires. The court believes there is no precedent which supports a deferral of the lawsuit and clearly the President cannot shed private litigation upon entering the office. A deferral of the suit would be unfairly lengthy and violate the private citizen’s right to a speedy and fair trial. The court makes clear that there is no immunity for the President’s “unofficial” conduct at any point during this tenure. Insofar as executive immunity can be claimed to protect national security or the public interest, the court may do so; but when the issue is clearly a private matter, especially occurring prior his tenure in office, the immunity cannot rightly be sustained.