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 TIME on politics Congressional Quarterly CNN/AllPolitics CNN/AllPolitics - Storypage, with TIME and Congressional Quarterly

Controversial Starr assistant to leave OIC

By Bob Franken/CNN

March 17, 1999
Web posted at: 1:21 p.m. EST (1821 GMT)

WASHINGTON (March 17) -- Jackie Bennett, one of Ken Starr's deputies, is leaving the Office of the Independent Counsel (OIC) to join a law firm in his hometown of Indianapolis, Indiana.

Bennett has worked with Starr for four years. In that time he became known as a prosecutor whose aggressive tactics brought criticism to the independent counsel's operation.

For example, Bennett was one of the prosecutors who confronted Monica Lewinsky during the famous Ritz Hotel sting. She later said he had resisted her request to even call her mother.

During the first Whitewater trial, Bennett served as the prosecutor who would bully witnesses when the OIC decided one needed bullying.

Several jurors in that trial later told CNN they resented his tactics even though they voted to convict President Bill Clinton former Whitewater partners Jim and Susan McDougal as well as former Arkansas Governor Jim Guy Tucker.

Following that trial, Bennett moved to Washington and became the director of the OIC's Washington operation.

Bennett has been accused repeatedly by Clinton supporters of being the source of some of the leaks from Starr's office.

In a statement Wednesday, Starr said: "Since he joined our office, Mr. Bennett has been an invaluable contributor."

Investigating the President


Wednesday, March 17, 1999

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