Ken Starr Dead at 76

Ken Starr

( – Prominent lawyer and GOP operative Kenneth Starr, best known for investigating the 1990s sex scandal involving then US President Bill Clinton and intern Monica Lewinsky, passed away at age 76.

Starr died in a hospital in Houston, Texas, from complications after having surgery, his family announced in a statement. He is survived by his wife, Alice Mendell Starr, three children, and nine grandchildren.

“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,” Starr’s son, Randall P. Starr, said in a statement.

Besides investigating the Clinton – Lewinsky sex scandal, which got the then-Democrat president impeached, Starr is also known for serving as an independent counsel in the investigation of the Whitewater affair, a murky land deal during Bill Clinton’s time as governor of Arkansas, and for helping defend then US President Donald Trump during his first impeachment trial in 2020.

It was the Whitewater probe started in 1994 that “snowballed” to reach White House misconduct, including Bill Clinton’s sex affair with Monica Lewinsky, Fox News noted in a report on Ken Starr’s passing.

“Truth is a bedrock concept in morality and law,” he often said, noting that he felt “compelled” to take up the Whitewater investigation out of a matter of “principle.”

Starr grew up in San Antonio, Texas, later graduating from George Washington University, Brown University, and the Duke University Law School.

He served in the Justice Department during the Reagan administration and in the 1980s, and on the US District Court of Appeals, in George H.W. Bush’s DOJ in the early 1990s, before going into the private sector and taking on the Whitewater affair in 1994.

That investigation took six years and cost the US government more than $52 million as it included hundreds of government staffers.

It ended up with two dozen indicted, a dozen convicted, and the impeachment of Bill Clinton for lying and obstructing justice by the US House of Representatives – although the US Senate subsequently acquitted Clinton.

After the Whitewater investigation, Starr returned to private practice and later served as the president of Baylor University in Texas.

In 2018, he was a major defender of Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation process for the US Supreme Court.

In 2020, Starr because a defense attorney for then President Donald Trump during his first impeachment trial.

“The Senate is being called to sit as the high court of impeachment all too frequently. Indeed, we are living in what I think can aptly be described as the age of impeachment,” Starr said at the time.