Former independent counsel Ken Starr in his new memoir writes that he considered the idea of perjury charges against then-first lady Hillary Clinton after her “preposterous” deposition with investigators back in 1995.
“I was upset over Mrs. Clinton’s performance, and was even considering bringing the matter before the Washington grand jury for possible indictment on perjury,” Starr wrote in “Contempt: A Memoir of the Clinton Investigation,” which hits bookshelves Tuesday.
In his new memoir, Ken Starr recounts a Jan. 22, 1995, deposition with both then-President Bill Clinton and first lady Hillary Clinton about the suicide of White House adviser Vince Foster and other issues stemming from the Whitewater investigation.
Hillary, though, was a completely different story.
“In the space of three hours, she claimed, by our count, over a hundred times that she ‘did not recall’ or ‘did not remember,’” Starr wrote. “This suggested outright mendacity. To be sure, human memory is notoriously fallible, but her strained performance struck us as preposterous.”
But Ken Starr suggested he ultimately decided against pursuing any criminal charges against Hillary Clinton because it would have been difficult to prove that she lied.
“[P]roving that someone knowingly lied when they said ‘I don’t recall’ or ‘I don’t remember’ is extremely difficult, especially if that person is the First Lady,” he said. “What was clear was that Mrs. Clinton couldn’t be bothered to make it appear as if she were telling the truth.”
A spokesman for Hillary Clinton did not immediately return any request for comment.
“You have to be able to prove the case,” Starr went on to say in an interview with “Tucker Carlson Tonight.” “There are clear differences between what a prosecutor knows and what a prosecutor can prove.”
“We just did not have the evidence to bring those charges,” he said.
Ken Starr’s memoir is the first time he has given his full and very candid perspective on the investigation into the Monica Lewinsky scandal that led up to Bill Clinton’s impeachment.
In the book’s introduction, Ken Starr says both of the Clintons “knowingly embarked on a continuing course of action that was contemptuous of our revered system of justice.”
Also within the book, Starr noted how, as solicitor general of the United States, he made the trip to Little Rock in 1992 when Bill Clinton was running for president. He recalls being picked up by a member of then-Gov. Clinton’s security detail, who fed him “salacious story after salacious story about the governor’s notorious extracurricular escapades.”
“The trooper’s highly specific details suggested that the tales were not made up,” Starr wrote.
He added that the trooper told him about Hillary Clinton’s “salty language” when she “discovered a clandestine episode under way in the guest cottage of the governor’s mansion.”
“A former beauty pageant queen, the trooper told me, had been Bill Clinton’s guest,” Starr writes.
He added that “little did I know that in less than two years, after the governor became president, I would be tasked” with investigating Clinton. Similar allegations from Arkansas state troopers would later become public in the controversy known as “Troopergate.”
At another part of the book, Former independent
“In many ways, I was a lot like him: serious about the law, conscientious, and loyal to a fault. Foster had been needled by the media, which I knew all too well could be brutal, especially for someone not used to the public eye,” Starr wrote of Foster.
Starr told Tucker Carlson that the death of Foster still very much resonates with him.
“I was haunted by … what did Vince Foster do, as the deputy counsel to the president? He took his own life,” Starr said. “We knew that he was depressed. We had very significant evidence that he was clinically depressed. Why was he clinically depressed? Complex question. But that’s why I was haunted. Why did this very successful, very bright lawyer take his own life within six months of the administration taking power? And that … haunts me to this day.”
At several points in Ken Starr’s memoir, he referenced then-associate Brett Kavanaugh, who once worked for Starr on the Clinton investigation. He writes of the report they produced on Foster’s death, saying it was “drafted primarily” by Kavanaugh, “a key member of our brain trust.”
Starr briefly cites Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the high court, saying President Donald Trump’s selection of the 53-year-old proves how presidents “want longevity in their Supreme Court nominees.”
Reflecting on his work, Former independent counsel Ken Starr said he “deeply” regrets that he “took on the Lewinsky phase of the investigation.”
“But at the same time, as I still see it twenty years later, there was no practical alternative to my doing so,” Starr writes.
Starr also recalls how he was passed over in 1990 by then-President George Bush for the Supreme Court seat that eventually went to David Souter, a liberal.
Starr says he believes he could have been eventually appointed to the Supreme Court by another Republican president “had I not taken on the Whitewater investigation, and especially the much-criticized Lewinsky inquiry.”
“Maybe,” Starr writes, “but we’ll never know.”
Watch the interview with Tucker Carlson below:
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