Starr in the Spotlight

  • Share
  • Read Later
WASHINGTON: While impeachment articles against President Clinton are being drafted, there seems to be some dispute in the investigation that brought them about. Ken Starr and his deputies had slightly different stories to tell when they finally hit what Starr had earlier derided as "the talk-show circuit" Wednesday. Asked about the first, crucial hours when his office held Monica Lewinsky without an attorney, the independent counsel told ABC's Diane Sawyer "it was fair and right to go to someone who is in the midst of a very serious thing." But Starr deputy Robert Bittman said his boss was "a little nave" or "ignorant of some of the processes" his prosecutors used processes which are "not all that clean."

Special Report Bittman would not elaborate further. But it was a bad time to raise even the slightest of doubts about the methods of Starr's investigators, as Republican staffers on the House Judiciary Committee are earnestly scribbling away at three articles of impeachment for perjury, obstruction of justice and witness tampering. A bad time, because only one of those articles (perjury) has even the slightest chance of squeaking through on a House floor vote next month. And further down the road, the independent counsel statute itself is up for renewal. Already, lawmakers are suggesting that in the wake of Starr, it may be quietly dropped. After all, if it's such a "dirty" job does anybody have to do it?