Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
July 28, 1998
POLITICS: Ken Starr and the Great White Whale

An email I sent in 1998, reformatted and slightly edited for publication.

If Bruce Lindsey had an honorable purpose (Ollie North, ahem), he might choose to run on his sword and claim full responsibility to protect the President. Nixon's people didn't do that because they didn't have a just cause, and neither do Clinton's. Now the President's only strategy is apparently to flee the country (which may be good for us anyway) until it's too late to impact the elections; sources say he won't testify until September because he will be traveling. The devil is in the details -- the more witnesses there are, the harder it is for them to all tell the same lies down to the same details.

Starr, relative to the average prosecutor in a white collar criminal case, is at a huge strategic disadvantage because the constant leaks cripple his ability to keep witnesses in the dark about the immunity/cooperating status of witnesses, the order of testimony, and the substance of grand jury testimony. The leaks have also benefitted Clinton by allowing the appearance of a steady drip of unremarkable revelations; imagine if we knew nothing of the Lewinsky thing and it all came out the day after Labor Day in a report to Congress. I don't doubt that some of the leaks come from low-ranking people in Starr's office currying favor with reporters, but there's no question that the White House has tremendous control over the flow of information here.

Starr can question Clinton anywhere he wants, and hell, he can let his lawyers be there too, but he better not settle for anything less than verbal questions, no written notice, and no limits on the scope of his inquiry.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 8:23 PM | Politics 2002-03 | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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