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Notebook: The Starr Chronicles

Topic A: A Boxed-In Starr Gets Heat from Kendall

TIME magazine

(TIME, April 20) -- Ken Starr, investigate thyself. That was the tricky spot the independent counsel found himself in last week after Deputy Attorney General ERIC HOLDER told Starr to probe charges that one of his main Whitewater witnesses took money originating with billionaire Clinton hater RICHARD SCAIFE. Happy to point out the awkwardness of this situation was presidential lawyer DAVID KENDALL. In a five-page letter, obtained by TIME, Kendall explained why Starr is the wrong man to investigate DAVID HALE, who has accused the President of wrongdoing. Not only has Starr relied heavily on Hale's testimony, Kendall notes, but his own FBI agents are alleged to have driven Hale to the fishing cabin where he reportedly met with Scaife's agents. Kendall also points out Starr's connection to Scaife, a major underwriter of the post awaiting Starr at Pepperdine University, and the fact that Starr's good pal TED OLSON is Hale's lawyer and a board member of the American Spectator foundation through which the Hale payments allegedly flowed. The letter followed by a day what a Clinton-connected lawyer called the "diabolically clever" missive from Holder that put Starr in this box. Now Starr must either deny a conflict, or at least the appearance of one, and conduct the inquiry, or acknowledge a problem and pitch the matter back to the Justice Department, risking an outcry that his impartiality can be questioned on far more than this one piece of his wide-ranging investigation of Clinton. "He's hornswoggled," said a Clintonite.

--By Viveca Novak/Washington

Numbers

120 million
Number of tax returns IRS estimates will be filed by April 15

30 million
Number of individuals who won't file until April 15

6 million
Number of filing extensions granted last year

56 Percent
of Americans believe the nation's wealthiest do not pay their fair share of taxes

30 Percent
of total federal individual tax revenue paid by the nation's wealthiest 1%

$80 billion
Amount irs estimates is owed each year but never paid

$80 billion
Combined government expenditures for the Legislative and Judicial branches; departments of Commerce, Education and Energy; NASA, FEMA and the EPA

1 Percent
of all taxpayers audited by the IRS

$28,056,625,000
Amount collected in 1996 through audits

Sources: Washington Post, Internal Revenue Service, Associated Press, Wall Street Journal-NBC poll, Tax Foundation

Verbatim

"I'm not kidding around when I say I'm done with this process. I am not going to spend time walking the halls of Congress in the context of a process that I see is completely broken."
STEVEN GOLDSTONE, Chairman and CEO of RJR Nabisco, parent of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco

"The tobacco industry has few friends to begin with, and fewer after yesterday."
BRUCE REED, Clinton adviser, in the Washington Post

In TIME This Week

Cover Date: April 20, 1998

With Help from Their Friends
Newt's Secret Plan: To Stay Right Where He Is
Notebook: The Starr Chronicles
Can Clinton Make It Fly?
Sticking Up for America


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