Monday, June 27, 2016

Ken Starr’s Squalid Second Act

Mimi Swartz, NYT, JUNE 27, 2016

Houston — EDWIN EDWARDS, the colorful former governor of Louisiana, had a favorite quote often attributed to the Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu: “If you wait by the river long enough, the bodies of your enemies will float by.”

I thought of this again last week as Hillary Clinton absorbed a fresh attack on her record from Donald J. Trump. Amid that, I wondered whether she’d had a chance to savor the fall of the Clintons’ nemesis, Ken Starr, and appreciate its ironies. In a political campaign as relentlessly nasty as this one, it must be hard to steal a moment of peace, much less schadenfreude.

By the time of Bill Clinton’s presidency, the dependably Republican Mr. Starr had built a prestigious career as an attorney, appellate judge and solicitor general under President George H. W. Bush. Then, in 1994, a congressional committee made Mr. Starr a special prosecutor to investigate the Clintons’ involvement in the Whitewater real estate venture and, juicier, the death of deputy White House counsel Vince Foster, a Clinton confidant.

Mr. Starr aspired higher and wanted to go deeper. Soon, his brief had expanded to investigating the sex life of a young woman named Monica Lewinsky. Relying on covert recordings of her confessions, Mr. Starr’s report read at times like a steamy romance novel: “She unbuttoned her jacket; either she unhooked her bra or he lifted her bra up; and he touched her breasts with his hands and mouth …”

(More here.)

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