ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Starr Probe of President Clinton Really Scary

Updated on November 9, 2018
William F. Torpey profile image

Graduated NYU 1963. Worked in NYC in public relations 2 years then as reporter/news editor 32 years at The Hour newspapers. Retired in 2000.

Special Prosecutor Ken Starr

Kenneth Starr's five-year investigation of President Clinton in 1994 included probes of Whitewater, the suicide of Deputy White House Counsel Vince Foster and the Monica Lewinski affair.
Kenneth Starr's five-year investigation of President Clinton in 1994 included probes of Whitewater, the suicide of Deputy White House Counsel Vince Foster and the Monica Lewinski affair.

President Bill Clinton

On Dec. 19, 1998, President Clinton was impeached on charges of perjury and abuse of power. He was acquitted in the Senate on Feb. 12, 1999.
On Dec. 19, 1998, President Clinton was impeached on charges of perjury and abuse of power. He was acquitted in the Senate on Feb. 12, 1999.

The ongoing ever-expanding investigation of the president by Special Prosecutor Kenneth Starr has reached downright scary proportions.

The American people have seldom, if ever, witnessed such a sweeping abuse of power at the highest levels of the federal government.

Abuse of power is always cause for great concern, but it is especially so when virtually unrestrained authority is put in the hands of one person -- and especially one who, as a practical matter, has a single target, unlimited funds and all the time in the world.

Untrue and Illegal Leaks

Apologists for Mr. Starr try to excuse the often untrue and illegal leaks of grand jury information by saying he's investigating them (Is there anything he isn't investigating?)

Worse, his apologists say his unfair and un-American tactics are OK because he's only doing what all prosecutors do: exploring every avenue that might lead to evidence against his target.

Aye, there's the rub; for what does this tell us about prosecutors in general and the way they work?

Prosecutorial Fishing Expedition

If a U.S. president can be the subject of a prosecutorial fishing expedition, what kind of chance do you or I have if we become the target of a state or federal prosecutor?

Prosecutors hold all the cards when they present their findings (read that opinions) to grand juries -- and most of the cards when they go before a judge or panel of judges. That's why we're left with the disaster of plea bargaining (in which prosecutors have found a way of convicting people when they haven't enough evidence to convict on the appropriate charge.)

Right-wing Conspiracy

The First Lady's characterization of Starr's investigation as a right-wing conspiracy, however, missed the mark. It's not a conspiracy. It's just an anti-administration witch hunt and a fishing expedition that began with an investigation (part of a failed Republican effort to put money into the hands of wealthy Savings and Loan executives) of Whitewater and expanded into a probe of the mythical sex life of the president.

The president has been accused of everything from murder and lying and suborning perjury to a whole list of unsubstantiated sexual dalliances.

Unsubstantiated Allegations

But, despite the fact that not one of the allegations has ever held any water -- and none should have been taken seriously to begin with -- right wingers looking for political advantages and radio/TV personalities looking for better ratings keep saying the president should "just tell the truth."

And it has nothing to do with guilt or innocence. It is just as unwise for an innocent person to try to explain why he's innocent as it is for a guilty person to speak out.

Wild Accusations

When it's a president that's accused, it's wise, both legally and politically, to allow such wild and political accusations to run their course.

There's no way the president can, or should, say, as President Nixon did in 1973: "People have got to know whether or not their president is a crook: Well, I'm not a crook."

I wrote this column as a "My View" for The Hour newspaper of Norwalk, Conn., on Feb. 28, 1998. I now write my views on a wide variety of topics on HubPages.

Was the Impeachment of President Clinton by the House of Representatives Justified?

See results

President Clinton Discusses Whitewater on 'Face the Nation'


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • William F. Torpey profile imageAUTHOR

      William F Torpey 

      6 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      Whenever we turn a "blind eye" toward politics, Kathleen, we open the door to skulduggery (and there's lots of it going on today!)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Insightful article..I heard rumors he (Pres. Clinton) was "going to be" impeached but never knew he indeed was til my son educated me abiut it yrs later...I admit I turned a blind eye to politics intermittently in my life...that was one of those "blindeye" peeiods

    • William F. Torpey profile imageAUTHOR

      William F Torpey 

      12 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      Thank you, Hoodala. If you have the power of the state behind you, you can "get" anyone you want. Neverthless, Starr had money, time and legal power but failed to achieve his goals.

      It was all politics, as usual, Bob. George H.W. Bush is one of Bill Clinton's good pals. Apparently he wouldn't mind having Bill as a neighbor.

      That baby in the video looks just like Ken Starr to me, Ralph. Thanks for the compliment.

    • Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 

      12 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Very true. Great column. For some reason Starr reminded me of this

    • profile image


      12 years ago

      Bill.......Wasn't a witch hunt.. He found out that the President lied under oath. Good enough for his own state to disbar him . Were you as concerned when Clinton had the some bouncer he hired get records from the FBI on the Republicans. Facts are facts. I really don't think I'd want the Clintons living next to me. I'd have to make sure my doors were locked all the time.

    • Hoodala profile image


      12 years ago from Mesa

      The best point of this article, which is great as usual William, is "what kind of chance do you or I have if we become the target of a state or federal prosecutor?"

      Unfortunately not much of a chance........


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)