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Starr, the Federalist Society and Collegial Networks

Kenneth Starr was appointed Special Prosecutor to investigate alleged Clinton wrongdoing despite his being enmeshed in a network of conservative, libertarian, and hard right attorneys and political activists for years. According to People for the American Way:

    Judge David Sentelle, who was one of the three judges appointed to oversee the selection of the independent prosecutor, was instrumental in the decision to fire the previous prosecutor and appoint Starr. Shortly before Starr's appointment, Sentelle lunched with Senators Jesse Helms and Lauch Faircloth, who had been demanding a new prosecutor. Faircloth later hired David Bossie as a personal aide on the Senate Whitewater Committee. Bossie previously worked with Floyd Brown at Citizens United where he helped compile the book, Slick Willie, and has been a long-time anti-Clinton investigator.140

Eric Schlosser in Rolling Stone pointed to further connections:

    Linda Tripp has known Kenneth Starr since at least 1994, when she met him during the Vincent Foster investigation. Tripp happens to be a friend of Unlimited Access author Gary Aldrich, the FBI agent who claimed to have seen the cock rings on the Clinton Christmas tree. Aldrich's publisher, Alfred Regnery, has been friends with Kenneth Starr since their days together at the Reagan Justice Department. Tripp's attorney, James Moody, attended meetings of the Federalist Society and did work for the Landmark Legal Foundation, as did Kenneth Starr. Tripp's literary agent, Lucianne Goldberg, has known Alfred Regnery for years. None of these facts proves the existence of any hidden conspiracy. Nevertheless, when it comes to the far right, it's an awfully small world.141

In early 1997 Starr announced he would leave the position of Special Prosecutor to take a position at Pepperdine University. The position had been funded by Richard Mellon Scaife. Although news stories discussed the possibility that Scaife had specifically arranged for Kenneth Starr to accept the job, all the parties denied a quid pro quo arrangement, and records show Scaife funded the university well before Starr was offered the post. Starr first accepted, then declined the post at Pepperdine, although the school said the offer was still open. 142 Scaife's prior funding of the position certainly made Starr's original acceptance improper given Scaife's ongoing campaign against Clinton who was being investigated by Starr.

Other substantial conflicts of interest issues were raised in the media about Starr's appointment and conduct, including questions about his continued representation of the tobacco industry.143 According to columnist Frank Greve, there was an informal network of libertarian attorneys that aided investigations of Clinton, "including Richard Porter, a partner in Starr's Chicago law firm, Kirkland & Ellis; Theodore Olson, a former Starr partner and lawyer for the Clinton-bashing monthly magazine The American Spectator; and Jerome Marcus, a Philadelphia sexual harassment law specialist." Says Greve:

    Even Starr, it turns out, served as an unpaid counsel to Jones' lawyers in 1994 before he was appointed independent counsel. Because of Starr's discussions with Jones lawyer Gilbert Davis, Starr "never should have been appointed" special counsel, [according to] Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., a member of the Judiciary Committee.144

Starr's law firm contacted the Independent Womens Forum to see if they would sign on a proposed legal brief opposing President Clinton's claim of immunity in Paula Jones' sexual harassment lawsuit.145 Those discussions should have been disclosed. The Scaife-funded IWF grew out of the informal "Women for Clarence Thomas" in 1991.146 IWF was founded by by Barabra Olson, wife of Theodore Olson, the former Starr law partner, and a funder of the Federalist Society. An informational tip to Starr's office regarding the Paula Jones case should have been reported as well. That incident involved two attorneys, Jerome Marcus and Paul Rosenzweig who had been in law school together.

At the center of this network is The Federalist Society, libertarian attorneys, and attorneys with Kirkland & Ellis. Starr is a founding funder of the Federalist Society's James Madison Club, consisting of those who donate $1,000 or more. Others on the roster include Alfred Regnery, ultra-conservative activists Richard and Betsy DeVos, and Donald and Barbara Hodel, C. Boyden Gray, William Bradford Reynolds, and Theodore Olson. According to the New York Times:

    Marcus recruited others to assist his efforts, including several friends from the University of Chicago Law School. One of those who was approached, Paul Rosenzweig, briefly considered doing work for Jones in 1994, according to billing records and interviews, but decided not to. In November 1997, Rosenzweig joined Starr's office, where he and Marcus had several telephone conversations about the Jones case.

    It was Rosenzweig who fielded a "heads-up" phone call from Marcus on Jan. 8, 1998, that first tipped off Starr's office about Monica Lewinsky and Linda Tripp. The tip was not mentioned in the 445-page Starr report, even though the information revived a moribund Whitewater investigation that would not have produced, it now seems, an impeachment referral to Congress. 147

Another example of how collegial networks such as the Federalist Society advance ideas and actions, as well as careers, is the case of author and legal commentator Ann Coulter.148 Coulter attended Cornell University, where she launched the conservative Cornell Review, part of the conservative Collegiate Network funded by Scaife. She trained at the National Journalism Center, run by conservative columnist M. Stanton Evans, whose lectures are sometimes sponsored by the Young America's Foundation. The Center claims no partisan bias but its lecturers and postings are skewed to the right. The center receives funding from the conservative Olin Foundation. While at the University of Michigan law school, Coulter founded the local chapter of the Federalist Society. After the Republicans Congressional takeover in 1994, Coulter joined the staff of Sen. Spencer Abraham, (R-MI), a Federalist Society activist. She then became a legal commentator for MSNBC.

Coulter's book was published by Regnery. Phillips/Eagle, a major owner of Regnery, also publishes Human Events.149 Coulter went to work for the Scaife-funded Center for Individual Rights, then as a legal affairs writer for Human Events, which had previously run a favorable review of her book. Coulter also played matchmaker, helping Paula Jones find lawyers and suggesting that attorney Jim Moody help Linda Tripp with her legal problems.150

Another conservative network, the Council for National Policy, also played a role in developing Republican impeachment strategy.151

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