Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

A More Appealing, but Undaunted Starr

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

A More Appealing, but Undaunted Starr

Article excerpt

For a long time the public was receiving a one-sided, negative picture of Kenneth Starr because, in great part, he was under intensive attack from those around the president and was not defending himself. He's now fighting back.

The Monitor breakfast group sought to meet with Judge Starr on several occasions when he was pushing his probe of the Clintons. But, as a prosecutor involved in a case, he did not see fit to do so. Meanwhile, several Clinton defenders, most notably James Carville and Lanny Davis, came to a number of breakfasts and used the opportunity to make Starr out to be an overzealous pursuer of the president. Indeed, they were able to plant the impression that Starr, not the president, was the real villain.

But now that he is freed of his duties as special prosecutor, Starr is finally speaking out. Visiting the Monitor breakfast the other day, he asserted that he'd been blackened by the White House "spin machine" and said that White House-related charges that he had been carrying on a "vendetta" against the Clintons were "a totally bogus and bum rap."

Instead, he told us, President. Clinton, himself had "yet to come to terms with his own responsibility" in trying to "play games with the law." He urged Mr. Clinton "to get himself right with the law," meaning that he believes that the president should go beyond his apology for his personal misbehavior and acknowledge that he committed perjury and sought to obstruct justice.

Starr doesn't think this is going to happen. But he says that if Clinton expects history to take a kinder view of his impeachment, he must "get himself right with the law" by admitting his legal responsibility. The Starr position, now being presented forcefully to the public by Starr himself, and some members of his independent counsel team, comes down to this:

Starr uncovered a massive effort by the president to lie under oath and obstruct justice. The House impeached the president. Fifty senators voted to remove the president. …

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