Starr's words of praise for the President
Wednesday 25 November 1998
"Extraordinarily talented, wonderfully empathetic, and I've been with people in the course of this work who are very close to him and think he inspires just tremendous affection and loyalty by a wide range of people."
The praise from Mr Starr, who is blamed by many in the White House for singlehandedly plotting the President's downfall, comes in the course of an hour-long interview conducted by the doyenne of American television interviewers, Barbara Walters. She is also scheduled to interview Monica Lewinsky early next year.
In the broadcast - seen by some as the latest in a series of attempts by Mr Starr to improve his overwhelmingly negative image with the American public - Mr Starr also intimates that his office could have handled some aspects of the Lewinsky case better. These included the fact that Monica Lewinsky's confidante and betrayer, Linda Tripp, went directly from giving information to the Starr investigation to see lawyers acting for Paula Jones in her sexual harassment lawsuit against Mr Clinton. This exposed the Starr team to criticism that they used privileged information in their own investigation.
Mr Starr's apparent lack of personal animosity against Mr Clinton was the second bonus in a day for the President. Earlier, the Attorney-General, Janet Reno, announced she would not seek an independent prosecutor to investigate allegations that Vice-President Al Gore lied when he was questioned about his party fund-raising activities. Ms Reno said the evidence of lying by Mr Gore was "so insubstantial that there are no reasonable grounds for further investigation".
Mr Gore had been accused of not telling the truth about fund-raising calls he allegedly made from his White House office in contravention of a law that forbids the use of federal property for party political purposes. The Attorney-General's decision, attacked by Republicans as political, means Mr Gore's expected bid for the presidency in 2000 will not be handicapped by impending legal proceedings.
The impeachment proceedings against President Clinton, meanwhile, looked set to continue, after the Republican majority on the House of Representatives judiciary committee made known that it had scheduled an additional public session next week to debate the definition and consequences of perjury. The clear aim is to present perjury as a serious crime and to compare the behaviour and treatment of "ordinary" citizens with the behaviour and treatment of Mr Clinton.
Resentment has been voiced, especially in some military quarters, about what is seen as leniency towards the President for failings that would have any member of the military court-martialled.
Even as Republicans gave the impression that they had no intention of letting the President off lightly, a new hint of compromise was in the air. A senior Democrat on the judiciary committee, William Delahunt, confirmed that he was preparing to table a motion that would support some punishment, but not removal from office. "Whether it's described as a rebuke, a condemnation or a censure," he told the Boston Globe, "it would be short of impeachment."
Were the committee to agree a compromise along these lines, the impeachment process could be halted by a vote of the House of Representatives without being passed to the Senate.
- 1 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 2 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 3 Satellite full of sexually experimental geckos adrift in space, Russia loses control of mission
MH17 crash: Investigators discover more human remains and 'huge section of plane'
Susan Sarandon on David Bowie romance: 'He's worth idolising'
Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Exclusive: Cameron’s ‘Big Society’ in tatters as charity watchdog launches investigation into claims of Government funding misuse
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
John Barrowman praised for Commonwealth Games opening ceremony gay kiss
£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...
Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...
£65000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: The client is a...
£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established software house ba...