Clinton's Marlboro Men
Ken Starr isn't the only lawyer in Washington with a tobacco connection.
| Clinton's Marlboro Men Ken Starr isn't the only lawyer in Washington with a tobacco connection. |
By Michael Isikoff
When James Carville was recently asked by Nightline host Ted Koppel to identify his top objection to Whitewater independent counsel Kenneth Starr, the veteran Democratic campaign consultant singled out Starr's decision to represent tobacco companies. Starr, he charged, had taken "hundreds of thousands in legal fees" from companies who were "some of the most bitter enemies of the president." "I'm not saying it's not legal to do that," Carville said. "I'm saying it is horrible."
Carville is at least right on the facts: Starr, a senior partner in the Chicago-based firm of Kirkland & Ellis, argued the case for Brown and Williamson and the other major tobacco companies last year in a federal appeals-court case growing out of a class-action lawsuit in New Orleans. But the Whitewater prosecutor is far from alone in renting his services to Big Tobacco--so have many of the country's biggest and most prestigious law firms, and in far more extensive ways than has Starr. Among them are quite a few with unusually close ties to Clinton, his many legal problems and, ironically, even the Whitewater case itself.
Here's a partial list.
Michael Isikoff is an investigative correspondent for Newsweek and the author of Uncovering Clinton: A Reporter's Story.