Ken Starr, for the Defense--His

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Now that the prosecution of President Clinton is over, get ready for the prosecution, of sorts, of Ken Starr. The independent counsel is on the defensive these days. This week his top spokesman, Charles Bakaly, stepped down--at the same time that Starr asked the Justice Department to investigate a leak from the counsel's office that may have involved Bakaly. The leak in January concerned the revelation that Starr had concluded he had the authority to indict President Clinton while in office. "It looks like Starr may believe that Bakaly was the source of the leak," says TIME Washington correspondent Viveca Novak. "And by his action, it may be that he is offering up Bakaly as a sacrificial lamb."

The self-referral to the Justice Department is a significant admission for Starr. "It essentially says that the Justice Department has the power to investigate the independent counsel," says Novak. And it also admits that there may be some wrongdoing worth investigating.

Starr has throughout his probe repeatedly been accused of being manipulative and overzealous, and some of these charges will soon get a new airing, perhaps as soon as next week at Whitewater partner Susan McDougal's contempt trial. "Her defense will highlight her contention--after being tried three times--that he has been trying to get her to lie against Clinton," says Novak. "Her lawyers will be putting Starr's office on trial and may even call him." Clinton's acquittal in the impeachment proceedings weakened Starr politically, and he does not noticeably lack enemies who would take advantage of that weakness.