Special Prosecutor Kenneth Starr

Special Prosecutor Kenneth Starr

E-mail debates of newsworthy topics.
Feb. 11 1997 3:30 AM

Special Prosecutor Kenneth Starr

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       Thomas Huxley once observed that "[m]any a beautiful theory is thwarted by an ugly fact." The theory: Your friend and former law-firm associate, Ken Starr, is an experienced and objective independent counsel. The fact: As you know, Starr never prosecuted a criminal case in his entire legal career prior to being appointed as special prosecutor in the Whitewater case. His on-the-job training has been a costly ($17 million and counting), lengthy (over three years), embarrassing (he remains the only independent counsel ever to lose a jury trial), and ineffectual pursuit of a partisan, political agenda. Starr and his ongoing obsession to beat the Clintons at the jury box continues unabated due to his and the Republican Party's frustrating inability to beat the Clintons at the ballot box. Any experienced prosecutor knows that a fair and impartial investigation is presumed to target the truth; accordingly, any fair and impartial American understands that Ken Starr has chosen to target the Clintons.
       Mr. Olson, please concede that Starr's investigation and/or inquisition is an ongoing, relentless, result-oriented attempt to implicate the Clintons in any kind of wrongdoing--just anything, any time, anywhere--no matter how inconsequential or inadvertent. Please admit the fact that there is no other prosecutor in America that you can name who would use the testimony of a previously admitted perjurer like David Hale, corroborated by the now-admitted perjurer James McDougal, to justify the filing of even a low-level misdemeanor. Perjury, corroborated by perjury, yields perjury. Hopefully, Starr will not succumb to what I consider to be the subornation of perjury just to satisfy his ceaseless obsession of "getting the Clintons." If Starr is the attorney that you insist that he is, he won't use the testimony of admitted perjurers like Hale and McDougal. If Ken Starr is the attorney that I perceive him to be, a politically partisan, agenda-driven ideologue, he might.
       If and when Starr does use the testimony of Hale, corroborated by McDougal, perjurer corroborating perjurer, to justify the filing of charges against our president and first lady, I hope to hear your voice of repudiation, along with mine, that perjury in the pursuit of a partisan political persecution is, in fact, unlawful, unconstitutional, and simply put, un-American.

Michael Turpen is a lawyer and former attorney general of Oklahoma. To learn more about his views on the conduct of the independent counsel's office, read his exchange with Kenneth Starr. Theodore Olson is a lawyer in Washington, D.C. He served as the U.S. assistant attorney general under President Reagan from 1981 to 1984.