If there is a less excusable human being walking upright than Ken Starr, head huntsman of the Great Penis Chase of 1998, then I’m hard pressed to think of who it is. Since his salacious moment in the national spotlight, Starr has presided over a disastrous sexual-misconduct scandal and alleged cover-up at Baylor University in Texas. He took a job as part of the former president*’s defense team during Impeachment I, an indication that he was less offended by extramarital foolery than he used to be. And now comes a book by Julie K. Brown of the Miami Herald, the journalist who blew open the story of Jeffrey Epstein’s sex-trafficking empire and the sweetheart plea deal that helped enable it, in which Starr is featured as a legal engine behind said plea bargain. From the Guardian:
The book says that emails and letters sent by Starr and Epstein’s then criminal defense lawyer Jay Lefkowitz show that the duo were “campaigning to pressure the Justice Department to drop the case”. Starr had been brought into “center stage” of Epstein’s legal team because of his connections in Washington to the Bush administration. When Epstein’s lawyers appeared to be failing in their pressure campaign, with senior DoJ officials concluding that Epstein was ripe for federal prosecution, Starr pulled out the stops. Brown discloses that he wrote an eight-page letter to Mark Filip, who had just been confirmed as deputy US attorney general, the second most powerful prosecutor in the country.
Filip was a former colleague of Starr’s at the law firm Kirkland & Ellis. Brown writes that Starr deployed “dramatic language” in the letter reminiscent of the Starr report, his lurid and salacious case against Clinton that triggered the president’s 1998 impeachment. In the letter Starr begins affably, invoking the “finest traditions” of fairness and integrity of the DoJ. He then goes on to deliver what Brown calls a “brutal punch”, accusing prosecutors involved in the Epstein case of misconduct in trying to engineer a plea deal with the billionaire that would benefit their friends.
Brown also writes that the legal team started a semi-lurid whispering campaign against Marie Villafana, the federal prosecutor in the Epstein case. One thing we know about Ken Starr: his gifts as a casual purveyor of drive-by pornography have not dimmed since the days he was reciting Bill Clinton’s what’s and wherefore’s before congressional committees. Ken Starr’s post-Clinton career is proof enough of a trickster god on the side of the angels.
And what about Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who reveled in gutter gossip while working for Starr? Well, he seems to have his own PR problems right now. From The Hill:
“I can’t even believe what's happening. I'm very disappointed in Kavanaugh. I just told you something I haven’t told a lot of people. In retrospect, he just hasn't had the courage you need to be a great justice. I’m basing this on more than just the election,” Trump continued in his conversation with Wolff. “There were so many others I could have appointed, and everyone wanted me to,” Trump added.
Buyers remorse over PJ and Squee’s pal seems to be general across the political spectrum.
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