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Jewish World Review /Nov. 30, 1998/16 Kislev, 5759

Larry Elder

Larry Elder

Ken Starr and the vast left-wing conspiracy

TO PARAPHRASE THE LAW-SCHOOL MAXIM: When the facts are on your side, pound on the facts. When the law is on your side, pound on the law. When neither the facts nor the law is on your side, pound on Ken Starr.

Thus, the tactic taken by the Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee during the testimony of independent counsel, Mr. Kenneth Starr. He endured 12 grueling hours of testimony, during which Democrats failed to lay a glove on him.

Only three Democratic questions concerned the substance of the independent counsel's charges --- that evidence suggests the president committed perjury and obstruction of justice.

In his book "The Best Defense," famed defense attorney Alan Dershowitz pulled no punches: "In representing criminal defendants -- especially guilty ones -- it is often necessary to take the offensive against the government: to put the government on trial for its misconduct. In law, as in sports, the best defense is often a good offense."

The Democrats pounded and pounded. Why did you stop Monica Lewinsky from contacting her lawyer? Answer: We didn't. Since the FBI did not arrest Lewinsky, she had no right to counsel. Furthermore, assume the Feds improperly refused Monica Lewinsky's request to contact her lawyer, who, by the way, helped her execute the false affidavit. The penalty? If improperly denied the right to counsel, the accused may seek to exclude any and all evidence obtained during the improper questioning. Unfortunately for the Democratic partisans, the Starr referral included no such evidence from this encounter. There is, therefore, nothing to suppress.

Well, what about your relationship with the Paula Jones lawyers? Starr stated that he received phone calls from the Paula Jones legal team seeking his opinion on the constitutional question of whether a sitting president could be sued civilly. Starr, by the way, made public his opinion both on National Public Radio and on the McNeil-Lehrer News Hour on PBS television. Perhaps, Ken Starr thought, maybe somebody might have been listening.

Why didn't you tell Attorney General Janet Reno about your contacts with the Paula Jones lawyers before seeking permission to expand your inquiry to include the Monica Lewinsky-related matters? Well, as stated, Starr had publicly stated his position on immunity. Second, suppose Janet Reno denied Ken Starr jurisdiction? Reno would have likely sought another independent counsel to investigate the Monica Lewinsky matter, and the president goes back to square one.

At the end of the questioning, Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters hinted at perjury charges against Starr! "After all," Congresswoman Waters reminded us, "Ken Starr testified 'under oath.'" Apparently, Waters found Starr less than truthful about the Lewinsky/FBI interview. Does Congresswoman Waters share the same respect for the oath when it comes to the president?

Independent counsel Ken Starr presented substantial and persuasive evidence that the president committed perjury and obstructed justice. Congress impeached Federal Judges Claiborne and Nixon for perjury. Federal prisons currently hold 115 people convicted of perjury. And last year, in California alone, authorities filed more than 4,000 felony perjury cases.

Did Ken Starr's testimony cause Americans to renew their disinclination to see the president impeached? No. But, according to a CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll, of those who actually watched the Starr testimony, 67 percent rated his performance as either good or excellent. Unfortunately, only 38 percent of Americans did watch, thus continuing this national case of jury nullification. In short, don't confuse me with the facts.

Too bad so few Americans watched. They missed a fair, decent and thorough man, finally getting his "day in court" after years of attacks on his character, integrity and ethics. Whatever may result from the impeachment inquiry, Ken Starr emerges as a renewed, resurrected and honorable man. Ken Starr sat alone at his table, conferring with no one. No anxious aide fed him answers or even supplied materials.

Following Starr's appearance, yet another blow. Former Watergate Chief Counsel Sam Dash, who served as Ken Starr's ethics adviser, abruptly quit. Dash huffed that Starr should have declined an invitation to appear. Really! Can you imagine had Starr refused to show?! Gutless! Won't walk the walk! See, partisan witchhunt! Besides, had Starr not voluntarily shown, he most assuredly would have been subpoenaed.

Another critic said Starr's performance "failed to electrify." Oh, is that the test? Funny, some think Ken Starr's job was not to "electrify," but to put forth the facts in a straightforward, non-sensational fashion.

At the end of Starr's testimony, Republican counsel David Schippers, a lawyer for 40 years, stated that he was proud to be in the same room with Ken Starr. Hear, hear. But this independent counsel cannot win. According to Starr's critics, there's Hitler, Stalin and Ken Starr -- and not necessarily in that order.


11/19/98: Will the real hypocrite stand up!?
11/13/98: The Clinton 400
10/23/98: My evening with Chris Rock
10/15/98: Slavery is not funny
10/02/98: Clinton --- friend of the working woman
9/28/98: George Washington vs. the Grand Jury
9/18/98: It's the perjury, stupid
9/14/98: The "Larry List" of the most fascinating women in politics
9/07/98: Why blacks shouldn't support Clinton
8/27/98:The Brown bomber strikes Justice Thomas
8/21/98:So very clintonesque
8/17/98: Gary Coleman, hate criminal?
8/07/98: How much mea culpa?
7/24/98: ATM Al?
7/24/98: Advising the advisors
7/17/98: Camille Cosby's carelessness
7/9/98: Moses mugged
7/2/98: Al Campanis -- forever a racist?
6/25/98: And you thought "coke" was worse than smokes
6/19/98: Is Jasper ‘America'?
6/12/98: Guess who's not coming to dinner
6/5/98: What now, NOW?
5/29/98:What's next, ‘burger busters'?
5/21/98: 'Stuff' happens
5/18/98: This just in
5/11/98: Stepping up
4/30/98: Who's faking whom?
4/16/98:To spank or not to spank

©1998, Laurence A. Elder