Starr Impeachment Report Underway
Source: Plans to submit it to House in May could slip
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, April 8) -- Independent Counsel Ken Starr's team already has completed several sections of a report for Congress on potentially impeachable offenses by President Bill Clinton involving his relationship with Monica Lewinsky, CNN confirmed Wednesday.
Starr's goal is to have the report finished and submitted to
the House of Representatives, which has the constitutional
authority to initiate impeachment proceedings, by the end
But a source close to the independent counsel told CNN the
timetable could slip because portions of the investigation
dealing with Lewinsky, a former White House intern, have yet
to be completed.
Starr's office released a statement Wednesday saying "while federal law requires us to convey to the House 'any substantial and credible information that may constitute grounds for an impeachment,' our investigation is still ongoing and no decisions have been made on the issuance, timing or contents of such a submission.
"As has been publicly reported the investigation is moving very quickly but it continues to be impeded by a variety of privilege invocations. Nonetheless we are proceeding expeditiously in all aspects of the investigation, including the litigation necessary to gather and assess all relevant facts," Starr's statement said.
Starr's office is investigating whether Clinton had a sexual relationship with Lewinsky and encouraged her to lie about it under oath. Clinton has denied both accusations.
The potentially impeachable offenses being written up by
Starr's office may also include material related to Clinton's
sworn testimony about his Arkansas financial dealings. The
Whitewater land deal in Arkansas was the original reason for
The source said it was still unclear just how comprehensive
Starr's report would be in detailing evidence from the
White House declines comment
A White House spokesman, Joe Lockhart, declined comment on
the story, which first appeared in Wednesday's editions of
The Washington Post.
Clinton has denied any wrongdoing in the Whitewater real estate
tangle, as well as any effort to influence Lewinsky's
testimony in the Paula Jones sexual harassment case, which a
federal judge threw out last week as unworthy of a jury
The statute creating the independent counsel mandates that
such a report be made whenever prosecutors find "any
substantial and credible information ... that may constitute
grounds for impeachment."
But the CNN source said there were several obstacles to
having a comprehensive report on the Lewinsky matter
completed by the end of May, including:
- Disputes over executive privilege and whether Secret Service agents will testify.
- Whether Lewinsky has an immunity deal with Starr's office.
- Whether the president will answer grand jury questions.
Members of Congress in both parties have been urging Starr to
wrap up his four-year investigation. But the source said the
probe could go on several more months even if the independent
counsel completes a report by the end of May.
CNN's Bob Franken and John King contributed to this report.