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Herman Cain lawyer Lin Wood refuses to rule out legal action against accuser

at 04:16 PM ET, 11/29/2011

Embattled presidential candidate Herman Cain ’s personal lawyer, Lin Wood, said in an interview Tuesday that he believes his client is telling the truth that he did not have a 13-year-affair with an Atlanta woman named Ginger White.


Herman Cain appears at a news conference alongside his lawyer, Atlanta-based L. Lin Wood, who has represented Richard Jewell and Rep. Gary Condit (D-Calif.), both falsely accused of wrongdoing.

Wood, who said that Cain has not made a decision yet about whether to stay in the race, said he doesn’t expect his client to address the controversy again in public because there is nothing more to say beyond his denial. Instead, Wood expects Cain to focus on his schedule of campaign events and on making a decision about his political future, which Cain said he would do by the end of the week.

Wood has not ruled out advising Cain to take legal action against White, who, in an interview on the Atlanta Fox News affiliate Monday, alleged that she and Cain were in an intimate relationship for more than a decade.

“That’s a decision that can be made down the road,” Wood said. “I think the immediate consideration is to focus on his family and his campaign. There’s no rush to take legal steps.”

Wood said Cain met White at a conference, and they became friends. He questioned White’s credibility and expressed frustration that, as a lawyer, he cannot interview her or subpoena records to show that she is not telling the truth. White, who said her relationship with Cain included trips to resorts and lavish gifts, offered no specific dates or other evidence of the alleged meetings.

“That’s part of the problem,” Wood said. “You don’t have the ability to engage in that type of a discovery and investigative process when you’re in a court of public opinion. If I were in a court of law I’d have the ability to exact specific information from her on cross- examination. I’d have the ability, through the power of discovery, to look for the documentation that would refute her claims.”

Wood also raised doubts about the plausibility of White’s account of the alleged affair because it would have spanned a period of time when Cain was battling stage four colon cancer — a fact that she did not mention in her interview.

Wood also said his suspicion is that White was motivated by money. She had asked Cain several times for help with her rent and car payments, and he obliged, Wood said.

Ultimately, Wood said, “the public will have to decide whether they believe Mr. Cain or Ms. White” — because he is not aware of any documentation that could definitively disprove the charge.

“If we’re going to allow our system of justice or our political process to deteriorate to the point where an individual is deemed guilty by accusation, then that puts every public figure, political candidate and private individual at risk,” Wood said. “If this derails his campaign, and I hope it does not, other candidates need to take notice. Because it will happen again. It’s just a matter of time.”

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