Kenneth Starr, attorney who led President Clinton’s impeachment campaign in the “Zippergate” case – obituary

Twenty-four years earlier, when Leon Jaworski, the special counsel in Watergate’s investigation into the possible impeachment of President Richard Nixon, presented his evidence, he offered no analysis or conclusions. He left them to Congress.

Starr’s report, on the other hand, was widely seen as aggressive legal advocacy. Most surprisingly, it contained no reference to any of the matters Starr had investigated between August 1994, when he began work, and January 1998, when he was given permission to turn his attention to the Lewinsky affair.

Whitewater, and other “scandals” that had buoyed an entire Clinton conspiracy theory industry for years, ended up producing no charges.

The Starr Report alone did not provide the basis on which Congress could pass judgment on Clinton, and the fact that it consisted largely of Lewinsky-related allegations, much of it hearsay from witnesses whose motives were often suspect, allowed Clinton’s allies to frame the report as a chop designed to humiliate the president, and Starr as a “deranged puritan” with an obsessive and lustful interest in the president’s sex life.

A prominent law professor objected that the report, for being “a dry, factual recitation, contained rich and erotic detail of the kind we expect from a book club romance”. Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz accused Starr of fanning the flames of “sex McCarthyism”.

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