While Washington buzzes with the “palace intrigue” presented in Bob Woodward’s book, another book set to hit shelves on Tuesday sheds an unfriendly light on the Clinton administration, former first lady Hillary Clinton in particular.
Kenneth Starr’s memoir, “Contempt: A Memoir of the Clinton Investigation,” reflects on the Whitewater investigation that clouded the Clinton White House for years and resulted in both the president and first lady being deposed. And Hillary’s deposition, according to Starr, almost led to perjury charges.
Of President Bill Clinton, Starr said that it was clear that he was not interested in helping the investigation, but he also noted the former president’s genial manner during their interviews: “Clinton bobbed and weaved, but was always pleasant as he avoided answering.”
Hillary Clinton’s deposition was another matter entirely, according to Starr, who claimed that the number of times the former first lady answered questions with some variation of “I do not recall” strained credulity.
“In the space of three hours, she claimed, by our count, over a hundred times that she ‘did not recall’ or ‘did not remember.’ This suggested outright mendacity. To be sure, human memory is notoriously fallible, but her strained performance struck us as preposterous,” Starr began.
His overall assessment was simple: “What was clear was that Mrs. Clinton couldn’t be bothered to make it appear as if she were telling the truth.”
Starr admitted that, following her deposition, he considered filing perjury charges against her. He ultimately decided not to do so, saying that it was too difficult to prove that she lied based primarily on the number of times she claimed that she “didn’t know.”
“I was upset over Mrs. Clinton’s performance, and was even considering bringing the matter before the Washington grand jury for possible indictment on perjury,” Starr explained. And his conclusion, even 20 years later, was that neither the president nor the first lady was truthful. They “knowingly embarked on a continuing course of action that was contemptuous of our revered system of justice,” he claimed.
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