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Kendall issues letter blasting prosecutor

A war of words is breaking out between the White House and Whitewater
prosecutor Kenneth Starr. If Washington and Little Rock intelligence is
accurate, full-scale war is now certain to be realized. The situation on
Tuesday heated. President and Mrs. Clinton's private attorney David
Kendall accused Starr and his office of violating grand jury secrecy rules
to inflict damage on the Clintons. White House presser Mike McCurry says
Kendall was provoked by an article in the NEW YORK TIMES SUNDAY MAGAZINE
that revealed specific information not previously known about Starr's
investigation. McCurry says Kendall, who is distributing a melodramatic
six-page letter highly critical of Starr to the news media, "felt enough
was enough." McCurry also reveals that Kendall discussed the letter with
President Clinton who "agrees with the sentiments conveyed." The writer of
the TIMES piece, Jeffrey Rosen, spent months researching Starr's operation
-- results are exhaustive. Starr was traveling to Little Rock this
morning, a bark-back is predicted later today, after the letter is

The DRUDGE REPORT has obtained Kendall's letter. Presented are excerpts:

[**Internet Exclusive**]

FROM: David Kendall
TO: Kenneth Starr
DATE: June 3, 1997

"My correspondence with you concerning various issues relating to the
so-called 'Whitewater' investigation has previously been conducted
privately. Your public relations offensive in Sunday's New York Times
Magazine ('Kenneth Starr, Trapped,' by Jeffrey Rosen), however, leaves me
no choice but to respond publicly.

"The course you have chosen is unprecedented and profoundly ill-advised
for a number of different but mutually reinforcing reasons. First, the
conduct exemplified in the magazine article is wholly inconsistent with
your professional obligations as a prosecutor. You have behind you the
truly awesome might of the federal government: the power to subpoena
evidence and testimony the power to conduct grand jury investigations
anywhere in the United States1 an unlimited budget, unrestricted
utilization of the full resources of the FBI, the IRS, and other
investigative agencies, and (finally) the power to threaten and prosecute
criminal charges. This awesome might carries with it the responsibility
to conduct grand jury investigations fairly so that the reputations of
those investigated but not charged will not be besmirched.

"The comments of you and persons in your office, directly and
indirectly quoted in the magazine article, flout all these obligations.
Mr. Rosen notes that you ``provided background assistance for this
article but declined to be quoted directly (emphasis added). I am hard
pressed to discern what this meaningless formal fig leaf really signifies
in the context of an article that frequently quotes members of your staff
by name, refers authoritatively to your own personal beliefs, emotions
and prosecutorial strategy, and attributes statements and explanations to
`prosecutors' in your office. Perhaps most troubling are the plain
violations of grand jury secrecy.

"Grand jury secrecy rules are aimed at preventing precisely this kind of
leak-and-smear damage. You well know that you have no evidence whatsoever
that Mrs. Clinton had anything to do with any `disappearance' of the
Madison Guaranty billing records, yet you've chosen to comment publicly
on her `truthfulness.' To make sure the slur is not missed, the article
reports that `lawyers in Starr's office make no attempt to squelch
speculation that they have weighed the possibility of indicting her.'
True, the sentence is not technically accusatory (your staff might have
weighed the possibility of indicting you for all I know), but in context,
the derogatory intimation is clear, particularly because `a lawyer close
to Starr's investigation (and in context, the reader knows who this must
be!) ominously states that `If notes from the White House counsel's
office indicate that a person's story changed over time, you could have
countless issues of possible false statements to the grand jury.' This
sort of public musing about the thinking of the grand jury is exactly
what Rule6(e) is designed to prohibit. This Rule leaves no discretion to
a prosecutor to decide, as you apparently have, that the public interest
somehow warrants public (although unattributed) airing of the grand
jury's deliberative process, or of the evidence it may or may not have
gathered about the conduct of any particular individual.

"Second, your PR offensive is deceptive. The article's reported
suggestion by you that the President and Mrs. Clinton have not
cooperated with your investigation is, as you must know, unfounded and
false. Their cooperation has been unprecedented. They have each
voluntarily given testimony you have requested under oath at the White
House three times in the past three years. They have answered written
interrogatories from you. Mrs. Clinton appeared before your now-disbanded
Washington, D.C., grand jury to give several hours of testimony in
January, 1996. The Clintons have produced more than 90,000 pages of
documents to you, and on many different occasions we have provided you
information informally on the clients' behalf.

"Finally, a public relations campaign, whether open, as in Sunday's
magazine article, or more indirect, as in the making of public speeches
in controversial forums using code words, subverts the very institution
you and your office embody. The purpose of creating an `independent
counsel' was not only to separate that prosecutor from the Department of
Justice but also to insulate the person so appointed from a public
perception of partisan involvement. ...It is truly baffling how you can
fail to appreciate the fundamental need to keep your profile low, your
public comments discreet, and every appearance nonpartisan.

"What is needed is a wholehearted commitment to winding up this
investigation in an appropriate way. This means not chasing every
rainbow or every partisan rumor, whether in the hope of wounding or
destroying a target, or for any other reason. This investigation will not
have been a failure if it does not result in the indictment of particular
individuals. Mature, fair, and independent judgment is the very essence
of what is called for, and thus it is hardly reassuring to read that
`Starr seems to have decided that if a zealous prosecutor is what his
critics want, that is what his critics shall have.' The present public
posturing on your part suggests to me a total loss of perspective. I
don't believe that there's ever been a jugular here for you to go for,
but in the last several months, you've demonstrated an unerring instinct
for the capillary."

Filed By Matt Drudge
The REPORT is issued when circumstances warrant.
All comments: drudge@drudgereport.com
P.O. BOX 1171, Hollywood, CA 90028
Not for reproduction without permission of the author

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