When the New York Times suddenly starts running columns asking if Ken Starr was right, you can rest assured he was not.
That’s something I understood a long time ago as someone who investigated Whitewater, the White House Travel Office scandal, Bill Clinton’s victimization of women and, last but not least, the mysterious death of Vincent Foster.
Today, in the era of Donald Trump, we would all recognize Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr for what he was in the 1990s – an operative of the Republican establishment.
Back then, few understood just how deep the Deep State was – masterfully encompassing and using prominent members of both parties to maintain its power.
What a piece like this in the New York Times means is that Bill and Hillary Clinton are finally and officially being thrown overboard by the permanent bureaucracy and the political fraud known as the two-party system. It also could be part of an effort to rehabilitate Ken Starr when he needs it most.
What do I mean?
I suspect there’s an effort underway for the Deep State to get one of its own on the Supreme Court – appointed, ironically enough, by its biggest enemy, Donald Trump.
Trump has always been instinctively skeptical of the Deep State. But I’m not sure he’s fully aware of how it works, how dangerous it is and how devious it is.
Last year, in the early months of the presidential primary campaign, you might recall Trump suggesting there was something “very fishy” about the mysterious death of Vincent Foster. The man most closely associated with ensuing the facts of the case would never be publicly revealed was Ken Starr. Yet, it wasn’t Starr who wrote the official report. He just put his name on it.
The man who took over as the lead investigator in the case when it became clear that the first one actually sought to get to the truth was a man named Brett Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh was committed to a finding that Foster committed suicide – and no evidence to the contrary would be considered.
A week ago, President Trump offered up five candidates he was considering for the next opening on the U.S. Supreme Court. Guess who one of them was.
That’s right – Brett Kavanaugh. Small world, huh?
Who chose Kavanaugh to put the Foster investigation to bed?
Who knew what Kavanaugh was going to do?
My first experience with Starr came as an investigative reporter stunned at the level of corruption in the Clinton administration. The case against Clinton on scores of serious charges was overwhelming. I couldn’t figure out why Starr was ignoring the most serious and focusing on the least serious.
I couldn’t understand why he fired prosecutors who were building a real case against the White House, while he botched even the measly Monica Lewinsky business.
Then I began to figure it out.
Starr was not an independent investigator at all. He was the designated “fixer.” He was the cleaner. He was the handler. He was the guy who protected the powerful from themselves. There was no other conclusion to be drawn.
Look, Starr was either the most incompetent prosecutor in the history of the country or complicit in the cover-up of those crimes. I lean toward the latter judgment.
I’ll keep telling and retelling this classic Kenneth Starr story until people start to wake up and understand who he is and what he is.
In 1981, it was young Justice Department lawyer Kenneth Starr who authored “a hurriedly prepared, error-filled memo,” according to Robert Novak and Rowland Evans, that convinced President Reagan to go through with the nomination of Sandra Day O’Connor to the court – despite tremendous opposition from those who believed she was unfit and unworthy of Reagan’s support.
The memo gave O’Connor a clean bill of health on abortion by “using legal gymnastics to explain her Arizona legislative record,” wrote Evans and Novak. He wrote that she had “no recollection” of how she voted on a 1970 bill to legalize abortion when, in fact, she was a co-sponsor of the measure that was defeated 6-3 in committee.
Starr misrepresented that O’Connor was something of a friend and associate of Arizona pro-life leader Dr. Carolyn Gerster. In fact, Gerster told Evans and Novak: “I had an adversary position with Sandra O’Connor” and called her “one of the most powerful pro-abortionists in the [Arizona] Senate.”
So-called “conservatives” have continued to give Starr a pass on this monstrous disservice to Ronald Reagan and America. They blamed everyone except Starr for the failed ouster of Bill Clinton.
The Starr historical legacy can best be summarized like this: He deceived President Reagan about O’Connor and let Clinton off the hook for monstrous crimes.
Just what is it about the career of Kenneth Starr that some still find so heroic and laudable? Just what is it that Starr has done right?
Remember those Big Media distortions during the Clinton years that portrayed former Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr as the accomplished, right-wing hatchet-man out to “get” the president at all costs?
Remember how we heard Starr described as this conservative Republican mastermind who would stop at nothing to impeach Clinton?
Remember how it was reported that Starr was this vicious Torquemada, a determined ideologue who would crawl beneath any rock to find the goods on Clinton?
I admit I have been on a lonely, one-man mission to tell the truth about Kenneth Starr. Few want to hear the truth. Until recently – very recently – Democrats have no desire to shatter the myth they helped create. And Republicans were in no hurry to expose the facade of one of their own fellow Deep Staters.
All of a sudden – just like that – the New York Times is having second thoughts about Starr?
I don’t buy it.
Neither do I buy into the idea that his old understudy, Brett Kavanaugh, is one of the best legal minds in the country. President Trump should stop entertaining the idea of appointing him to a lifetime position on the Supreme Court – especially if he still believes there’s “something fishy” about the Vincent Foster case.
Indeed, there is “something fishy” about it. That we are still debating it 24 years later is proof that an honest and open and thorough investigation at the time was not conducted. That is the fault of two people – Ken Starr and Brett Kavanaugh.