The STARR REPORT: THE INDEPENDENT COUNSEL'S COMPLETE REPORT TO CONGRESS ON THE INVESTIGATION OF PRESIDENT CLINTON

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9780671034795: The STARR REPORT: THE INDEPENDENT COUNSEL'S COMPLETE REPORT TO CONGRESS ON THE INVESTIGATION OF PRESIDENT CLINTON

WASHINGTON, September 9, 1998 Dear Mr. Speaker and Representative Gephardt: Today this office has delivered to the sergeant-at-arms, the Honorable Wilson Livingood, 36 sealed boxes containing two complete copies of a referral to the House of Representatives. This referral is filed in conformity with the requirements of Title 28, United Sates Code, Section 595(c), which provides that "[a]n independent counsel shall advise the House of Representatives of any substantial and credible information which such independent counsel receives... that may constitute grounds for an impeachment". --from Kenneth W. Starr's letter to Congress.

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Here it is--the result of four years of investigative research, at an approximate cost of $40 million. Back in 1994, Kenneth Starr was appointed to investigate a series of investments made by Bill and Hillary Clinton; the Whitewater allegations never bore fruit, but then somebody whispered stories about the president and an intern named Monica Lewinsky into Starr's ear. He and his team of prosecutors sniffed around, and this is what they've come up with: "According to Ms. Lewinsky, she and the President had ten sexual encounters, eight while she worked at the White House and two thereafter." The details are bathetic in their precision: "during many of their sexual encounters," Starr notes, "the President stood leaning against the doorway of the bathroom across from the study, which, he told Ms. Lewinsky, eased his sore back." And yes, as far as we know, that was the president's semen on Monica's navy dress.

Whether or not it's the government's job to produce hackneyed narratives about young women who find themselves falling in love with powerful men is for voters to decide, but this story would be rejected outright by readers of Harold Robbins or Jackie Susann were it not for the newsworthy elements. Of course, there's also the second half of the report, in which Starr explains how Clinton's attempts to prevent his relationship with Lewinsky from becoming public knowledge constitute grounds for his impeachment. That's the part of the document that matters most from a political perspective ... but it's doubtful that it'll be the part that lingers in historical memory. (Note: You can also read the Starr report in electronic form for free at a number of locations on the Web, including the Library of Congress site and the commercial sites AOL.com, Netscape Netcenter, and Yahoo!)

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