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Independent Counsel Ken Starr of the Clinton Investigation Has Passed Away at Age 76

Kenneth Winston Starr, a former solicitor general of the United States who rose to international prominence in the 1990s as the impartial investigator who tenaciously looked into President Bill Clinton during a string of political scandals, has passed away. He was 76.

What Was The Cause Of Death?

According to a statement from his family, Starr’s death was caused by post-operative complications. 

“Our loss of our wonderful and loving father and grandfather, whom we admired for their extraordinary work ethic but who always placed their family first, has left us extremely upset. We treasure the many amazing experiences we were able to share with Dad because of his love, vitality, adorable sense of humour and fun-loving interest in each of us. ” Randall, Starr’s son, spoke in the statement on their behalf. 

About His Legal Career

From 2010 to 2016, Starr presided over Baylor University. He was a member of the defence team for former President Donald Trump during his first impeachment. Judge Starr was honoured by Baylor’s president, Linda Livingstone, on Tuesday. She said he was “a dedicated public servant and an enthusiastic defender of religious freedom,” which helps faith-based schools like Baylor grow.

The conservative Republican Starr started looking into Clinton after being chosen by a federal appeals tribunal to serve as an independent counsel in the inquiry of the participation of the then-President and Hillary Clinton in the Whitewater real estate scandal in 1994. Although the Clintons were ultimately not charged in that case, Starr’s investigation into the Clintons’ business dealings later widened to include Paula Jones’ claims of sexual harassment. As a result of that investigation, Starr took the lead in the investigation into the President’s liaison with Monica Lewinsky. 

Clinton was ultimately impeached as a result of the Lewinsky scandal on two counts of perjury and obstructing justice, but the Senate cleared him in February 1999, and he finished out the rest of his term. 

Starr and Clinton were both awarded Time’s Men of the Year in 1998 as a result of the controversy, which consumed most of Washington and the news media for more than a year. According to others, Starr’s probe was a reflection of a time marked by harsh partisanship and a tabloid-like curiosity in the private lives of politicians. The inclusion of various graphic information regarding the sexual interaction between Clinton and Lewinsky in Starr’s report on the scandal to Congress, in particular, drew criticism. 

Starr denied claims that going after Clinton had political undertones. 

At the time, Starr stated, “I was given a task by the attorney general, and that was to determine whether crimes were committed in this (Paula Jones) sexual harassment claim.” You must follow the rules if you want to be treated equally under the law. It has nothing to do with the core issue. You simply speak the truth. ” 

In October 1999, he announced his resignation as independent counsel, citing the “intense politicisation of the independent counsel process.” 

Starr left behind three children and his wife, Alice, whom he wed in 1970. 

More About Ken Starr 

Starr, who was born on July 21, 1946, in Vernon, Texas, first attended Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas, before transferring to George Washington University, where he earned a bachelor’s in history in 1968. He earned a master’s in political science from Brown University in 1969 and a law degree from Duke University Law School in 1973. After graduating from law school, Starr worked as a law clerk for Chief Justice Warren E. Burger and Fifth Circuit Judge David W. Dyer before joining the Los Angeles office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. 

He worked on the transition team for President Ronald Reagan before being hired as William French Smith’s counsellor in 1981. Then, in 1983, Reagan nominated him to be a federal judge on the US Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, and the Senate subsequently confirmed his nomination. He was appointed US solicitor general in 1989 by President George H.W. Bush after serving as a federal judge. During that time, he argued 25 issues before the Supreme Court, according to the Department of Justice. He went back into private practise in 1993 and began working in Chicago for Kirkland & Ellis. 

Chief Justice John Roberts of the Supreme Court, who served as Smith’s assistant and Starr’s subordinate while the latter was solicitor general, stated on Tuesday that “Ken had a great love for his country and gave honourable service to it. In the legal field, government service, and the community, he set an exemplary example. ” 

In McConnell v. FEC, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell described Starr as “a superb attorney, an amazing leader, and a loyal citizen.” 

The Kentucky Republican wrote, “Ken poured his amazing energy and intellect into promoting justice, defending the Constitution, and preserving the rule of law via his illustrious service on the D.C. Circuit, as Solicitor General, as independent counsel, and beyond.” 

When Jeffrey Epstein, the alleged paedophile, was awarded a settlement in 2008 that shielded him from federal prosecution, Starr was also a member of Epstein’s legal team. Additionally, he defended employees of Blackwater USA who were charged with war crimes for allegedly killing civilians in Fallujah during the Iraq War. Trump, however, commuted their sentences in 2020. 

From 2004 until 2010, Starr served as dean and professor at Pepperdine University’s law school outside of his legal practise. He was fired after an independent investigation showed that, when he was president of Baylor University, he “fundamentally failed” to deal with student sexual assault complaints in a good way. 

When Trump asked Starr to join his legal team in arguing for his exoneration during his first Senate impeachment trial in 2020, Starr once again entered the public glare. The choice brought back memories of a time when Washington was busy with an impeachment investigation, Beltway politics got more competitive, and a president with a troubled personal life and a desire to control the media was in charge. 


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