Ken Starr, who led Clinton impeachment, dead at 76

Politics

(NewsNation) — Ken Starr, the man who served as the independent counsel in the investigation that led to the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton, died Tuesday. He was 76, according to reports.

Starr died at a hospital Tuesday of complications from surgery, according to his former colleague, attorney Mark Lanier. He said Starr had been hospitalized in an intensive care unit in Houston for about four months.

Starr also served as the president of Baylor University from 2010 to 2016.

Baylor released a statement Tuesday on Starr’s death.

“Judge Starr was a dedicated public servant and ardent supporter of religious freedom that allows faith-based institutions such as Baylor to flourish,” said Baylor President Linda A. Livingstone. “Ken and I served together as Deans at Pepperdine University in the 2000s, and I appreciated him as a Constitutional law scholar and a fellow academician who believed in the transformative power of higher education.”

Starr earned his fame primarily as the lead investigator into Clinton’s sexual misconduct and perjury trial that led to his impeachment in 1998.

In a probe that lasted five years, Starr looked into fraudulent real estate deals involving a long-time Clinton associate, delved into the removal of documents from the office of deputy White House counsel Vincent Foster after his suicide and assembled evidence of Clinton’s sexual encounters with Monica Lewinsky, a former White House intern. Each of the controversies held the potential to do serious, perhaps fatal, damage to Clinton’s presidency.

As Clinton’s legal problems worsened, the White House pilloried Starr as a right-wing fanatic doing the bidding of Republicans bent on destroying the president.

“The assaults took a toll” on the investigation, Starr told a Senate committee in 1999. “A duly authorized federal law enforcement investigation came to be characterized as yet another political game. Law became politics by other means.”

In a bitter finish to his investigation of the Lewinsky affair that engendered still more criticism, Starr filed a report, as the law required, with the U.S. House of Representatives. He concluded that Clinton lied under oath, engaged in obstruction of justice and followed a pattern of conduct that was inconsistent with the president’s constitutional duty to faithfully execute the laws. House Republicans used Starr’s report as a roadmap in the impeachment of the president, who was acquitted in a Senate trial.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

This is a breaking news story, it will be updated as more information becomes available.

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