((Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune Herald, via AP, File))

Kenneth Starr: "Stop the wildly inappropriate attacks on the attorney general"

The former independent counsel in Clinton investigations tells Trump to "cut it out"


Charlie May
July 27, 2017 11:22PM (UTC)

Kenneth Star, the former independent counsel during the Whitewater and Monica Lewinski investigations of President Bill Clinton, pleaded with President Donald Trump to "cut it out," in a Washington Post op-ed published Wednesday.

"Tweet to your heart’s content," Starr wrote. "But stop the wildly inappropriate attacks on the attorney general. An honorable man whom I have known since his days as a U.S. attorney in Alabama, Jeff Sessions has recently become your piñata in one of the most outrageous — and profoundly misguided — courses of presidential conduct I have witnessed in five decades in and around the nation’s capital."

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"What you are doing is harmful to your presidency and inimical to our foundational commitment as a free people to the rule of law," he continued.

Besides his former role as independent counsel, Starr is also a former U.S. solicitor general and federal judge, according to the Post. Starr has also served as the dean of Pepperdine University's law school, and the president of Baylor University.

Starr added that Sessions can't be used as the president's "hockey goalie," which is how Sessions was described by Anthony Scaramucci, the White House's new Communications Director. "Indeed, the attorney general’s job, at times, is to tell the president 'no' because of the supervening demands of the law," Starr wrote.

Starr said that while "the attorney general needs to be a loyal member of the president’s team" it's also imperative that "he must have the personal integrity and courage to tell the president what the law demands — and what the law will not permit."

"Independence of judgment, as opposed to blind loyalty, characterizes great attorneys general," Starr wrote.

The op-ed comes after Trump publicly and harshly criticized Sessions — one of his earliest supporters — because of his recusal from the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

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Starr concluded by asking Trump to heed his advice. "Mr. President, for the sake of the country, and for your own legacy, please listen to the growing chorus of voices who want you to succeed — by being faithful to the oath of office you took on Jan. 20 and by upholding the traditions of a nation of laws, not of men."


Charlie May

Charlie May is a news writer at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @charliejmay

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