"A Starr cannot be extinguished"

In the year 2041, the grandson of Kenneth Starr writes a letter to his father giving a progress report of his investigation into 93-year-old Hillary Rodham Clinton-Hubbell.

By David Everett
May 13, 1998 11:00PM (UTC)
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May 12, 2041

Dear Dad,

You always said if the criticism gets too tough and the attacks too personal I should drop you a note. Well, as you might imagine from events of the past month, I need your advice. I know you'll agree that the assault on our family's good work has not been this intense since the passage of the Legacy Act, which allowed you (and now me) to continue Granddad's historic investigation.


Yes, I know Bill Clinton died seven years ago, and yes, YES, I know the public finds it difficult to accept our continuing investigation of a 93-year-old woman. Regardless of her age, though, Mrs. Hillary Rodham Clinton-Hubbell must pay for her deceptions. The patterns are present today as they were before. Just because he's dead and just because she's remarried and hasn't reigned over the personal quarters at the White House for 40 years doesn't mean we know the truth yet. My independent counsel's investigation, like yours before mine and your father's before that, will not stop. As you always declared, "A Starr cannot be extinguished."

I suspect the attacks on us will diminish when the latest news comes out -- Mrs. Clinton-Hubbell's attorneys have notified us that yes, after all, she does have those files on the source of Chelsea's Stanford tuition payments in 1999. The former "First Lady" contends a nurse found them in a box under her bed at the nursing home. Sure, Dad. It takes 14 months after a subpoena to look under the bed? (By the way, do you think a leak on this would be more effective with TimeWeek, or should we go to Matt Drudge Jr., who just got promoted to editor-in-chief at MicroNBC?)

I'm accustomed to delays, though -- you and Granddad taught me to endure. (I'll never forget your court fight over that subpoena to the second cousin of Chelsea Clinton's faculty advisor, during the second Gore administration.) I'm also not upset by the Fortune Party's continued griping about us. Majority Leader Forbes may be the Senate's oldest member, but our inquiry can easily include him if necessary. We just opened offices in Pierre, S.D., Montpelier, Vt., and -- finally -- Toronto. (You remember the old family joke -- When we have outlets in all 56 states, we'll finally get to the bottom of this. I'm proud I was in charge when we added Ontario to the list. Only two more to go!)


No, none of those obstacles are important, Dad -- not when we get a direct assault from the enemy. As you might suspect, the event that prompts this note was that blistering speech on the House floor by Chelsea Clinton-McDougal's daughter, Rep. Charity McDougal. I asked C-SPAN to beam the hologram live into our headquarters complex. (I was heartened that most of our 6,400-member staff filled the auditoriums to watch.) The congresswoman actually had the gall to invoke her grandfather's name and accuse me of a family vendetta! "This special prosecutor is out of control," she blared, "like his father and grandfather before him." Just because I was honest enough to tell the schoolchildren at the Rev. Chuckie Falwell-Robertson's St. Jeremiah elementary school that given the stonewalling there was "no end in sight" for my investigation. Sound familiar, Dad?

Despite her inexperience, she seems to have inherited her grandmother's Joan of Arc complex, and is obviously preparing her own presidential race. (I hope she winds up facing President Gates' son. Serves her right.) Rest assured we'll be ready. I wonder how she'll feel about addressing the House in shackles and chains! I'm considering subpoenas for the fund-raising committee of her junior high student council campaign in Tulsa. My investigators learned that a bake sale was held in October 2019 at a country club outside that city. Get this: The club borders a pond that empties into a creek that runs into a lake that feeds the Neosho River, which, we find, connects to the Arkansas River. Yes, I said Arkansas. This connection is fresh, Dad. It may finally be the link to the original Whitewater scam that Granddad first started to investigate. Whitewater! Can you believe it? I only wish that Grandad were here to witness it.

As usual, Rep. McDougal called for her grandmother's release. But I steadfastly support the pledge made by you and your father: Susan McDougal will remain under indictment and behind bars until she agrees to talk. She's only 84; we can wait.


Yet the congresswoman's biggest criticism was the same old rant -- the escalating cost of our investigation. That's what I must ask you about, Dad. I'm tiring of responding to it. For goodness sake, that complaint dates back to the last century. You remember it was widely mentioned in '98, when Granddad's first report came out and the Republicans began that famous two-year hearing. Well, it's like 1998 all over again. The camera-crew hovermobiles are like flies outside the house every morning. Do you have any fresh thoughts? Sure, we're past the $14 billion mark, and yeah, I know our budget now surpasses the Transportation and Education departments combined. But we're nothing compared to the $60 billion raised in the last congressional elections alone just for olfactory ads on the TVnet. Money shouldn't be so important when justice is at stake.

Meanwhile, everyone's fine on the home front. In fact, something happened at the breakfast table the other day that brought tears to my eyes. Your grandson Kenneth is only 15, and he asked me about special prosecutor grad programs. I'm hoping he'll choose the D'Amato School at Columbia, but he has a mind of his own. He's leaning toward the Dan Burton Center at Indiana University. You must be proud.



P.S. Did you catch the twin grandnieces of Monica Lewinsky and Lucianne Goldberg on the Larry King Jr. Show? They turned 40 this year and still can't get a life!

David Everett

David Everett is an essayist and fiction writer in Washington, D.C. A recovering newspaperman, he teaches writing to graduate students at Johns Hopkins University.

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