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Starr will watch trial, won't comment on procedures

By Mike Ahlers/CNN

January 14, 1999
Web posted at: 4:24 p.m. EST (2124 GMT)

WASHINGTON (January 14) -- Independent Counsel Ken Starr said Thursday his staff is in touch with House prosecutors to provide them assistance with the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton.

"There's a process that is underway that's called for by the Constitution, and our office had a statutory obligation to refer materials to Congress once, in our evaluation, the predicate was there for Congress to consider it," Starr said. "I don't think I should be commenting at all. It's the process that Congress has ordained, and now the Constitution has provided for."

Starr
Ken Starr  

Starr said he had not been in touch with the prosecutors Thursday, but he did plan on watching the proceedings.

When asked if the case could be appropriately considered without witnesses, Starr said he did not want to comment on a process that was at the discretion of and the "rightful prerogative" of the Senate.

"I think I should allow those judgments to be made without the burden of any comment I may have," Starr said.

Starr testified before the House Judiciary Committee during the impeachment hearings in November of last year. He laid out allegations of presidential misconduct by Clinton in relation to his affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

Starr told the committee the evidence suggested Clinton lied under oath and obstructed justice. The House approved two articles of impeachment charging the president with perjury and obstruction of justice on December 19.

In September, Starr submitted a referral to Congress, claiming evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors by Clinton. Starr has been investigating several allegations against Clinton since 1994, including misconduct in the Whitewater land deal, the travel office firings and the FBI files flap.


Investigating the President

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Thursday January 14, 1999

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