- WASHINGTON (AP) -- Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr says U.S. President
Bill Clinton "repeatedly used the machinery of government and the
powers of his office" to thwart Starr's grand jury investigation and
the Paula Jones lawsuit.
- "That is not a private matter,"
Starr said in remarks prepared for delivery Thursday at the opening of
impeachment hearings. A copy of his testimony was obtained late Wednesday
by The Associated Press.
- "The evidence further suggests that
the president, in the course of these efforts misused his authority and
power as president and contravened his duty to faithfully execute the laws.
That too is not a private matter," Starr said in challenging the argument
that Starr had no right to investigate the president's consensual sexual
relationship with Monica Lewinsky.
- Starr's testimony reiterated many of
the same allegations, in the same harsh language, that he included in his
referral to Congress in September, accusing Clinton of 11 impeachable offences.
His testimony laid out a litany of examples that he said show a "misuse
of presidential authority occurred."
- Starr said Clinton "made a series
of premeditated false statements under oath" in his Jan. 17 deposition
testimony in the Jones lawsuit, and "participated in a scheme"
at the deposition to deceive the trial judge in the lawsuit by not correcting
his lawyer's false assertion that the president did not have sexual relations
- Starr also said Clinton used his cabinet
as "unwitting surrogates" to support his false story denying
the affair for months. He charged that the president "concocted false
alibis" to aides who then repeated the inaccurate information to the
- Starr eventually subpoenaed Clinton,
who testified Aug. 17 before the grand jury. Starr said Clinton lied during
that testimony too, and again when he told the American public in a speech
that night that he had given "legally accurate" testimony in
the Jones case.
- Other misuses of power, according to
Starr, came when Clinton and his administration asserted governmental privileges
to conceal information from the grand jury.
- Starr is the leadoff witness at the first
impeachment hearings of a president in a quarter century. The House Judiciary
Committee has given Starr two hours to present his evidence on Thursday,
followed by questions from committee investigators and lawmakers.
- Then Clinton's private lawyer, David
Kendall, will get a chance to question the independent counsel.
- Starr, a former judge not accustomed
to the politically charged atmosphere of congressional hearings, has been
holding rehearsal sessions with his own staff.
- Clinton, meanwhile, was visiting Japan
and South Korea.
- Committee Republicans signalled their
intention to broaden the hearings, setting votes Thursday on subpoenas
for four more witnesses: White House deputy counsel Bruce Lindsey, the
president's most trusted adviser; lawyer Robert Bennett, who represented
Clinton in the Paula Jones lawsuit; Daniel Gecker, the lawyer for Clinton
accuser Kathleen Willey; and Nathan Landow, a Maryland Democrat who had
contacts with Willey. She has accused the president of a sexual advance
inside the White House.
- Committee chairman Henry Hyde also requested
a Justice Department memo on alleged campaign fund-raising abuses from
the 1996 campaign.
- Starr said that in addition to misusing
his authority, Clinton "used government resources and prerogatives
to pursue his relationship with Monica Lewinsky" and used Oval Office
secretary Betty Currie to "facilitate and conceal the relationship."
- Clinton also used White House aides and
former UN ambassador Bill Richardson in an effort to find Lewinsky a job
"at a time when it was foreseeable -- even likely -- that she would
be a witness in the Jones case," Starr argued. And he used a government
lawyer -- Lindsey -- to assist his personal legal defence during the Jones
case, Starr said.
- "The president repeatedly used the
machinery of government and the powers of his office to conceal his relationship
with Monica Lewinsky from the American people, from the judicial process
in the Jones case, and from the grand jury," Starr said in his prepared
- Starr also presented an overview of his
four-year criminal investigation in an effort to give context to the allegations
that gave rise the Lewinsky investigation.
- He focused on payments that presidential
friends made to former Justice Department official Webster Hubbell at a
time when Hubbell was under investigation by Starr's office. Starr said
those payments "raise very troubling questions" about whether
Clinton, through his aides, sought to encourage Hubbell's silence. Hubbell
was indicted for a third time by Starr's office last Friday.
- Starr noted that many of those who paid
Hubbell were Clinton campaign supporters who were contacted by then-White
House chief of staff Mack McLarty seeking help for Hubbell.