Ken Starr, the independent counsel in charge of the investigation leading to then-President Bill Clinton’s impeachment, told NPR he sees “eerie echoes” between the probe he headed up nearly twenty years ago and today’s ongoing investigation into the Trump campaign and Russia.
“The comparisons will be intriguing as we proceed because there are eerie echoes to what happened 20 years ago,” Starr said while on a promotion tour for his new book, Contempt: A Memoir of the Clinton Investigation.
Starr was initially tasked with investigating Whitewater, a failed Arkansas real estate deal involving Bill and Hillary Clinton, but unearthed the now infamous affair between Bill Clinton and then-White House staffer Monica Lewinsky.
That investigation led to the obstruction of justice and perjury charges that would land President Clinton in hot water, leading to both his impeachment by the House and eventual acquittal by the Senate.
While Starr did see some striking similarities between his investigation of the President and Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s current probe, he cited what he saw as some key distinctions as well.
“[At] least as far as we know Donald Trump has not lied under oath, as far as we know, he’s not intimidated witnesses, [and] as far as we know — in my view — he has not obstructed justice,” Starr told NPR.
When asked about President Trump’s many tweets railing against the Russia investigation, which Vox reports has so far indicted or gotten guilty pleas from 32 people and three companies, as being a Democrat-led “witch hunt” or “hoax,” Starr told NPR he sees them as “inconsistent with the rule of law.”
Russian Collusion with the Trump Campaign, one of the most successful in history, is a TOTAL HOAX. The Democrats paid for the phony and discredited Dossier which was, along with Comey, McCabe, Strzok and his lover, the lovely Lisa Page, used to begin the Witch Hunt. Disgraceful!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 1, 2018
“Let’s get all the facts in. I have all the facts in with respect to Bill and Hillary and that’s what Contempt is all about,” he told NPR. “But I do think that there are echoes. We want our president to be honest, and we especially want the president to be honest under oath.
“We’re not talking about the morality of truth-telling, we’re talking about the rule of law.”
While Starr is waiting to get all the facts, however, many have already begun to question President Trump’s ability to consistently tell the truth and provide all of the facts.
According to PolitiFact, President Trump already has a long track record of dishonesty.
When asked directly about his thoughts on Trump’s track record of honesty, Starr opted to tell NPR that he’s “not going to opine on the president.”