Kenneth Starr, Bill Clinton’s nemesis prosecutor, dies | International

He was the man who embodied an era in the late 1990s. Kenneth Starr, the prosecutor who became Bill Clinton’s nemesis with his exhaustive investigation into the activities of the Democratic president (1993-2001), including his sexual scandal with Monica Lewinsky, has died this Tuesday at the age of 76.

As reported by his family, Starr has died in the city of Houston (Texas), where he lived, of complications after a surgical operation.

Appointed by Ronald Reagan as a judge of the Court of Appeals for the Washington, DC circuit in the 1980s, he was appointed by the next president, George W Bush, to the position of attorney general, a position he held until Clinton’s arrival in office. White House in 1993.

But it was his role as an independent prosecutor that propelled him to worldwide fame in the Democrat’s second term. The so-called Whitewater scandal began as an investigation into the real estate investments of Clinton and his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, only to expand into many other areas. Above all, the president’s extramarital affair with Lewinsky, a 24-year-old White House intern.

Kenneth Starr prepares to testify in the impeachment trial of then-President Bill Clinton on November 13, 1998.
Kenneth Starr prepares to testify in the impeachment trial of then-President Bill Clinton on November 13, 1998.David Hume Kennerly (Getty Images)

Clinton denied the relationship, in a process in which all kinds of intimacies came to light and that the Democrats denounced as being politically motivated. That case led to the first political trial of an American president in modern times, after the Republican-controlled House of Representatives charged him with perjury and obstruction of justice. The process produced phrases from Clinton that are still remembered, such as the famous it depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is (“depends on what the word ‘is’ means”), or the I did not have sexual relations with that woman, miss Lewinsky (“I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky”).

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The president was later acquitted of all charges by the Senate, but by then his popularity had been badly damaged. His vice president, Al Gore, lost the 2000 elections after a dramatic recount of the votes in the state of Florida, which the Supreme Court, in a controversial decision, ordered to suspend to give victory to the Republican candidate, George W Bush.

After that stage, Kennneth Starr focused on academic life. Although he did not abandon the scandal. He stepped down from his post as president of Baylor University following an investigation into the school’s improper handling of sexual abuse claims. In 2020, this staunch conservative Republican returned to play a role in yet another impeachment trial against a sitting American president. But this time as a defender. He joined the team of legal advisers to Donald Trump in the process that was opened in the US Congress for the alleged undue pressure on the Ukrainian head of state, Volodímir Zelenski, to order an investigation into Hunter Biden, son of now President Joe Biden. .

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