Former US solicitor general Kenneth Winston Starr, who looked investigating Former US President Bill Clinton, has passed away.
As the independent counsel who relentlessly looked into a number of political scandals involving Clinton while he was US President in the 1990s, Starr rose to fame.
According to a statement from his family, Starr, who was 76, passed away from surgical complications.
“We are deeply saddened with the loss of our dear and loving Father and Grandfather, whom we admired for his prodigious work ethic, but who always put his family first.
“The love, energy, endearing sense of humor, and fun-loving interest Dad exhibited to each of us was truly special, and we cherish the many wonderful memories we were able to experience with him,” Starr’s son, Randall, said in the statement on behalf of his children, as reported by CNN.
The conservative Republican Starr presided over Baylor University from 2010 to 2016 and was a member of the defense team for former President Donald Trump during his first impeachment.
In a statement released on Tuesday, Baylor President Linda Livingstone stated that “Judge Starr was a dedicated public servant and ardent supporter of religious freedom that allows faith-based institutions such as Baylor to flourish.”
When Starr was chosen by a federal appeals tribunal in 1994 to serve as an independent counsel in the investigation of the then-President and Hillary Clinton’s role in the Whitewater real estate scam, his inquiries against Clinton officially began. Despite the fact that the Clintons were not charged in that case, Starr’s investigation into the Clintons’ business dealings later widened to cover Paula Jones’ claims of sexual harassment. As a result of that investigation, Starr was given the responsibility of heading the inquiry into the President’s liaison with Monica Lewinsky.
Following the Lewinsky scandal, Clinton was impeached on two counts of impeding justice and lying under oath to a federal grand jury. However, the Senate found him not guilty in February 1999, and he finished out the rest of his term.
Starr and Clinton were both awarded Time’s Men of the Year in 1998 as a result of the controversy, which consumed most of Washington and the news media for more than a year. According to others, Starr’s probe was a reflection of a time marked by harsh partisanship and a tabloid-like curiosity in the private lives of politicians. Particularly, Starr’s report to Congress on the scandal drew criticism for including various graphic details regarding Clinton and Lewinsky’s connection.
Starr denied claims that going after Clinton had political undertones.
“I was assigned to do a job by the attorney general, and that was to find out whether crimes were committed in this (Paula Jones) sexual harassment lawsuit,” Starr said at the time. “The whole idea of equal justice under law means that you’ve got to play by the rules. It has nothing to do with the underlying subject matter. You just tell the truth.”