The Starr Investigation
Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr was instrumental in the development of scandal politics in 1998, coordinating the investigation of Clinton's alleged perjury and obstruction of justice during the Jones deposition. Having played a central role in the investigation of the Whitewater matter, and possessing a long-term knowledge of the Clinton White House, the personality of the President, and the role and function of the Independent Counsel, Kenneth Starr held a decisive role in determining the fortunes of the Clinton presidency. His investigation provoked controversy however. A constant stream of criticism emanated from the White House, alongside several questions about the cost, duration, and conduct of his probe into Clinton's discreet liaison. For all the public commentary about Starr's investigation, he held his ground stubbornly, and ensured that a vast amount of evidence was delivered to the House of Representatives in order that it make an informed decision about whether to impeach the President. To many, including those at the White House, it appeared that Starr's motivation was a partisan hatred of the President. His appointment in 1994 had been greeted with some suspicion and his long-term tenure proved a constant distraction for the President.
This chapter considers the nature of the Starr investigation, with a particular focus upon the Starr Reportand the White House response to that particular document. It opens by evaluating the controversies over the nature of Starr's investigation and then studies the White House arguments presented when the Starr Reportwas filed. The need for the White House to counter the charges leveled against the President by Starr was clear. If they were left unattended or unchallenged, then Starr's viewpoint might dominate the platform of debate. Accordingly,