[Congressional Record Volume 144, Number 29 (Tuesday, March 17, 1998)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E384-E385]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                            LET STARR SHINE


                        HON. GERALD B.H. SOLOMON

                              of new york

                    in the house of representatives

                        Tuesday, March 17, 1998

  Mr. SOLOMON. Mr. Speaker, it is tragic enough that doubts abound 
about the integrity and motivations of many of our elected officials in 
the eyes of the people of this country. It is even more unjust when 
those doubts are planted by people we should trust. Recently, the 
Clinton Administration has deflected the public's attention away from 
the accusations against the President and toward Independent Counsel 
Kenneth Starr. All of the president's people are repeatedly attacking 
Mr. Starr and distracting him from doing his job. What makes this a 
tragedy is the fact that Mr. Starr is merely performing the duties 
legally delegated to him. Kenneth Starr is a man of impeccable 
integrity. He should be allowed to continue his investigation without 
undue interference or political attacks. In that way only, will he be 
able to discern the truth. I have enclosed two relevant editorials. The 
first was written by four outstanding former attorneys general, and was 
published on March 11 in the Wall Street Journal. The second article 
was found in The Poughkeepsie Journal, a Gannett newspaper that serves 
some of my constituents in Dutchess County, New York.

             [From the Wall Street Journal, Mar. 11, 1998]

                          Let Starr Do His Job

     (The following statement was issued last Thursday by four 
     former U.S. attorneys general. A related editorial appears 
       As former attorneys general of the United States, we oppose 
     the Independent Counsel Act. We believed in the past, and we 
     believe now, that the United States Department of Justice is 
     capable of investigating all criminal and civil matters 
     involving the United States government. We also believe that 
     the Independent Counsel Act raises serious constitutional 
     issues involving, among other things, separation of powers 
     and due process. However, we also believe in the rule of law. 
     In Morrison v. Olson, the United States Supreme Court ruled 
     that the Independent Counsel Act is constitutional. Moreover, 
     in 1994, after the law had lapsed, Congress reauthorized the 
     Independent Counsel Act, and President Clinton signed it into 
     law. Therefore, the Independent Counsel Act is today the law 
     of the land, and it must be enforced.
       As former attorneys general, we are concerned that the 
     severity of the attacks on Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr 
     and his office by high government officials and attorneys 
     representing their particular interests, among others, appear 
     to have the improper purpose of influencing and impeding an 
     ongoing criminal investigation and intimidating possible 
     jurors, witnesses and even investigators. We believe it is 
     significant that Mr. Starr's investigative mandate has been 
     sanctioned by the Attorney General of the United States and 
     the Special Division of the United States Court of Appeals 
     for the District of Columbia.
       Further, Mr. Starr is effectively prevented from defending 
     himself and his staff because of the legal requirements of 
     confidentiality and the practical limitations necessitated by 
     the ongoing investigations.
       As former attorneys general, we know Mr. Starr to be an 
     individual of the highest personal and professional 
     integrity. As a judge on the United States Court of Appeals 
     for the District of Columbia and Solicitor General of the 
     United States, he exhibited exemplary judgment and commitment 
     to the highest ethical standards and the rule of law.
       We believe any independent counsel, including Mr. Starr, 
     should be allowed to carry out his or her duties without 
     harassment by government officials and members of the bar. 
     The counsel's service can then be judged, by those who wish 
     to do so, when the results of the investigation and the facts 
     underlying it can be made public.
     Griffin B. Bell,

[[Page E385]]

       Attorney General for President Jimmy Carter.
     Edwin Meese III,
       Attorney General for President Ronald Reagan.
     Richard L. Thornburgh,
       Attorney General for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George 
     William P. Barr,
       Attorney General for President George Bush.

             [From the Poughkeepsie JOurnal, Feb. 28, 1998]

                          Let Starr Do His Job

       Spin doctors in Washington have apparently performed 
     successful surgery on President Clinton's reputation--his 
     approval ratings are soaring with the angels. But Special 
     Prosecutor Kenneth Starr's numbers are down in the cellar.
       The steady beat of the president's people, all saying the 
     same thing, has had the obviously desired effect--it's 
     distracted the attention of the American public away from 
     questions of Clintonian wrongdoing, and onto a special 
     prosecutor supposedly running amuck.
       Clinton's people loudly proclaim Starr really is 
     overstepping his bounds in his investigations of the 
     president. If he really were, there would be grounds for 
     dismissal by the judges who appointed Starr. Or Attorney 
     General Janet Reno, or the president himself could.
       But nobody's moving to dismiss the special prosecutor. 
     They're just making lots of noise on television about him.
       Fortunately, the one person whose attention should be on 
     questions of presidential wrongdoing, is. Starr is simply 
     doing his job.
       The major issue is not whether Clinton had affairs with 
     Monica Lewinsky, Paula Jones or anyone else--though that 
     certainly is a significant moral matter that he may be forced 
     to address, if the allegations turn out to be true.
       The major issue is whether the president obstructed 
     justice. Whether he committed perjury and urged others to do 
     the same. And whether evidence was tampered with, and 
     witnesses bought off. That is a significant legal issue that 
     could drive him out of the White House.
       We must, of course, presume Clinton is innocent, unless he 
     is proven guilty. He deserves that constitutional privilege 
     as much as any American.
       It's also wrong, lacking proof, to paint Kenneth Starr as 
     the guilty party. He's just doing his job. Maybe his 
     investigation will come to nothing. Maybe not. But let him 
     take as much time as he needs to do that job and discern the 
       The nation deserves truth. Not spin.