The Starr report: The devil is in the detail

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Indy Lifestyle Online
KENNETH STARR became the independent counsel investigating the Whitewater affair in August 1994, a year before Monica Lewinsky got her job as a White House intern, and yet his report deals almost exclusively with events after her arrival. It is safe to say that without Lewinsky there would be no Starr Report. Much of the document merely confirms long- held suspicions. The fascination is in the details; some are trivial, many are salacious, and a few will probably decide whether or not Congress moves to impeach the President.

Besides Bill Clinton himself, the principal players in Starr's narrative are:

Monica Lewinsky - 24-year-old former Pentagon worker who began an affair with the President of the United States as a 21-year-old, unpaid, White House intern. By all accounts an unwilling accomplice in Clinton's downfall, Lewinsky made the twin mistakes of talking to Linda Tripp and keeping the dress.

Betty Currie - President Clinton's secretary. Orchestrated many of the 37 visits Lewinsky made to the Oval Office after she left the White House to work at the Pentagon in 1996. Currie played a role in recovering the gifts which Clinton had given Lewinsky.

Linda Tripp - The Pentagon worker and former White House staffer testified in the Travelgate portion of the Whitewater probe, and claimed to have seen a "dishevelled" Kathleen Willey leaving the Oval Office. After befriending Lewinsky at the Pentagon, Tripp taped phone conversations in which Lewinsky detailed her sexual encounters with Clinton. Tripp turned her tapes over to the Starr investigation in January.

Paula Jones - The former Arkansas state worker filed a sexual harassment suit in 1994 over an alleged incident in a hotel room in May 1991, when Clinton was governor of Arkansas and Lewinsky was still in high school. The case was eventually dismissed, after both Clinton and Lewinsky had given depositions denying their affair.

Vernon Jordan - Veteran Washington insider and personal friend of Bill Clinton, alleged to have aided in covering up the President's relationship with Lewinsky, notably by getting her a job at Revlon.

Kathleen Willey - 51-year-old White House volunteer who claimed she was groped by the President, a charge Clinton denied in his testimony in the Jones case.

Kenneth Starr - Son of a Protestant minister and former Solicitor-General, nearly resigned as the independent counsel investigating Whitewater in 1997, before widening his investigations to include the Jones case and the Lewinsky affair.