The deal resolves a squabble between Hyde and Gingrich over who would get to drive the GOP bus if impeachment became a possibility. Now Starr is fighting for the wheel of his own investigation. Though no date has been set for the disclosures, it's likely to be sooner than the independent counsel had in mind.
Starr will get assurances that none of the viewed material will find its way into the papers -- but when could Congress ever keep a secret? Once journalists' stethoscopes are turned to privy members and their attendant staffs, discreet rumblings of scandal could quickly turn to roars. That's the last thing Starr wants before he's good and ready. But for Republicans, a public airing of Starr's goods might be just the thing to get Clinton's approval ratings moving in the other direction.