Magazine article Newsweek

Dash: Why I Left Starr

Magazine article Newsweek

Dash: Why I Left Starr

Article excerpt

The Watergate icon lays out the reasons he quit--and rebuts charges of conspiracy

After his surprise resignation as Ken Starr's ethics counsel, Samuel Dash explained his decision in written answers to Newsweek's Daniel Klaidman. Excerpts:

Why he resigned

I had no objection to Starr appearing before the Judiciary Committee to give an accounting of how he has professionally conducted his office and to respond to the unfair and inaccurate attacks that have been made against him. I strenuously objected to a first draft of his opening statement where he proposed to serve as the prosecution witness or counsel for impeachment of the president Starr's opening statement before the committee was an aggressive indictment accusing the president of impeachable offenses I do not question the substance of Starr's argument for impeachment. I strongly objected to his inserting himself into the political format of the Judiciary Committee inquiry and serving as the committee's chief prosecution witness.

On the Starr report

I disagree that the report was a far more forceful piece of advocacy than Starr's testimony. I played an advisory role in the preparation of the [report] and insisted that it be primarily a factual statement of the evidence and not an accusation of impeachable offenses. I was successful in persuading the staff to edit out language of accusation in the early drafts To the extent the [report] may be strong and persuasive, it is not because of any conclusions drawn or accusations made, but, instead because of the sheer strength of the facts. …

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