Ken Starr reveals the day he was so frustrated with a stonewalling Hillary Clinton that he almost charged her with perjury
In 'Contempt: A Memoir of the Clinton Investigation,' Starr reveals how Hillary's answers at a deposition almost convinced him to charge her with perjury
Former independent counsel Ken Starr has revealed in his new memoir, 'Contempt: A Memoir of the Clinton Investigation,' that he was so frustrated by Hillary Clinton's answers during the infamous Whitewater probe that he considered charging her with perjury.
Starr, best remembered for his investigation of the suicide of deputy White House counsel Vince Foster and the Whitewater real estate investments of former president Bill Clinton, as well as the Monica Lewinsky scandal, revealed that Clinton answered with "do not recall" for each of his questions on Foster.
According to the New York Post, Starr wrote, "I was upset over Mrs. Clinton’s performance, and was even considering bringing the matter before the Washington grand jury for possible indictment on perjury," revealing she had used the term over a 100 times during the course of January 22, 1995, deposition of the then-First Lady.
He stated that Bill Clinton was "always pleasant as he avoided answering", but about Hillary he wrote, "In the space of three hours, she claimed, by our count, over a hundred times that she ‘did not recall’ or ‘did not remember.' This suggested outright mendacity. To be sure, human memory is notoriously fallible, but her strained performance struck us as preposterous."
The Whitewater controversy and subsequent investigation focused largely on the real estate investments of the Clintons and their associates, Jim and Susan McDougal, in the Whitewater Development Corporation. The failed business venture was set up with the purpose of developing vacation properties on land along the White River in Flippin, Arkansas, and was brought back into public attention after the New York Times published an investigative report on the issue in March 1992.
A US Securities and Exchange Commission investigation resulted in convictions against the McDougals, as well as Jim Guy Tucker, Bill Clinton's successor as governor in Arkansas, though both Bill and Hillary would escape prosecution.
The "Whitewater" term was then expanded to include the administration's other controversies, including Travelgate, Filegate, and the suspicious circumstances surrounding Foster's death.
But despite Hillary's non-responses, Starr said he could not seek criminal charges against the future presidential candidate because it would have been difficult to prove that she lied.
A paragraph pertaining to the issue in the memoir reads, "Proving that someone knowingly lied when they said ‘I don't recall' or ‘I don't remember' is extremely difficult, especially if that person is the First Lady. What was clear was that Mrs. Clinton couldn't be bothered to make it appear as if she were telling the truth."
Speaking on FNC's 'Tucker Carlson Tonight,' Starr similarly said, "You have to be able to prove the case. There are clear differences between what the prosecutor knows and what the prosecutor can prove. We just did not have the evidence to bring those charges."
Starr would later expand his inquiry into the suspected perjury about Bill Clinton's sexual activity with Monica Lewinsky and file the Starr report where he alleged that the president lied about the existence of the affair. It would lead to Bill's impeachment in the House of Representatives and a five-year suspension of Clinton's law license.