Transcript Of Kenneth Starr Comments
Jan. 22, 1998
INDEPENDENT COUNSEL KENNETH STARR: As much as I understand the questions that you have, I am operating under constraints of confidentiality. It is simply inappropriate, it's simply improper for me to be addressing questions in the course of an investigation.
What I do want to assure each of you is that we are going about our work, our activity, in a very prompt manner and a professional manner. We have very experienced people working on all aspects of our investigation.
We are also very mindful that any officer carrying out the activities of the federal government must be properly within his or her jurisdiction.
We, at all times, satisfy ourselves through very careful analysis that we are acting properly within our jurisdiction, which is...
QUESTION: How could that be? How is this Whitewater?
STARR: ... which is determined...
QUESTION: How is this Whitewater?
STARR: I can't comment on the specifics with respect to a specific jurisdictional grant. The assurance I can...
QUESTION: Mr. Starr, how long will the investigation last?
STARR: The assurance I can give you is that... If I may finish this one sentence. The assurance that I can give you is that we are mindful of both the Justice Department and the Special Division's role in determining jurisdiction, and that we are very keenly sensitive to, and we (OFF-MIKE).
QUESTION: Do you have a timetable on this?
QUESTION: How long will this investigation...
STARR: I can't comment other than to say we're moving as promptly as we can.
QUESTION: Judge Starr, Judge Starr, let me ask this. I know you can't comment on grand jury matters, but I will ask you to comment on (OFF-MIKE) motivated by a desire to get President Clinton. Can you reassure the public?
STARR: Our job is to gather facts and to evaluate those facts and to get at the truth.
I have a very strong belief in facts and in truth, and that the facts will come out and the truth will come out -- eventually -- consistent with the presumption of innocence.
Let's -- let's bear in mind that each individual in our country enjoys a presumption of innocence. I think that's very important in terms of fairness.
That's why confidentiality -- which is very hard to maintain now, but we're doing our very best to maintain confidentiality because of individual reputations.
QUESTION: Mr. Starr, the Whitewater investigation has taken three years...
QUESTION: The Whitewater investigation has taken...
STARR: Go ahead.
QUESTION: Is that desire to be fair and get at the truth consistent with wiring somebody to get information?
STARR: We used appropriate investigative techniques that are traditional law enforcement techniques.
We conduct this investigation the way any other investigation would be conducted.
QUESTION: Did you ever consider wiretapping the president himself?
STARR: I'm not going to comment on any possible investigative (OFF-MIKE).
QUESTION: To get at the truth, will you grant immunity to Monica Lewinsky?
STARR: I can't comment.
QUESTION: Judge Starr, Whitewater's taken three years. Do you envision this taking another three years?
STARR: We're moving as promptly as we possibly can. I would just, by way of reminder, say that we have had expansions of our jurisdiction in the past, including -- at the request of the attorney general -- to examine certain aspects of the White House Travel Office matter and certain aspects of the FBI files matter.
We are moving forward on each of those areas of our jurisdiction, but I cannot ...
QUESTION: Doesn't the president deserve some completion here? I mean, it's been three years. At some point doesn't he deserve a resolution of this?
STARR: All persons have an interest. We have an interest in anyone who's affected by the investigation, and the American people have an interest in seeing as prompt a resolution as possible.
(UNKNOWN): Thank you.
STARR: Thanks very much.