Remarks made by Kenneth Starr, independent counsel, and W. Ray Jahn, pr
Remarks made by Kenneth Starr, independent counsel, and W. Ray Jahn, prosecutor, at a press conference after sentencing of James McDougal in Little Rock, Ark.
Q: ... the quality and the scope of Mr. McDougal’s testimony to you?
Kenneth Starr: I think that the statement that we made in court speaks for itself. Let me ask Ray, if you would, because Ray has now spent _ along with others, both agents of the FBI and with other lawyers in our staff _ on a daily basis with Mr. McDougal, and so Ray, I would ask you to respond to that if you would.
W. Ray John: I believe all we can respond to is generically, which is the information he provided was both information we knew, which corroborated other information, but he also provided us some unique information that was unknown prior to his cooperation and that resulted in our ability to discover some documents which corroborated a substantial portion of what he’s told us.
Q: But this information comes within the jurisdiction of the special counsel, and that pertains to Mr. McDougal, to Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton; is that right?
Starr: Well, let me speak to that. What we said in court, and what I have to emphasize here, is that we are under constraints in terms of what we can say publicly, and that’s because we’re obliged as officers of the court not _ there are certain things we cannot talk about. And the things we cannot talk about are things that go on before the grand jury of 23 Arkansans. But we have made the judge aware, in camera, with respect to certain aspects of his _ Mr. McDougal’s _ cooperation so the judge could take that into account in determining what was a fair and just sentence.
But we cannot talk specifically beyond saying, as I did in open court, that ... that what the original mandate to our office asked us to do is to examine the relationship between three individuals and three entities. Mr. McDougal is one of the three named persons in the original mandate, and we have found his cooperation very helpful to us.
Q: Aren’t the Clintons mentioned in that mandate as well, Mr. Starr?
Starr: The mandate speaks for itself.
Q: Will this information take your investigation into new areas beyond the areas that were covered during McDougal’s trial?
Starr: We have been proceeding to understand fully the activity that is encompassed within our original mandate. And he has assisted us, and continues to assist us, in having a fuller, broader, deeper understanding of that evidence. And we have said that it has led us to both documents and it has led to witnesses, that information has come to us that was previously unknown _ previously unknown to us. Mr. Jahn put it in exactly those terms.
Moreover, that that information previously unknown to us is known to a very few people.
Q: There is a lot of talk about the truth and telling the truth, becoming cooperative. Webb Hubbell had an opportunity to come forward and be cooperative. Did he not tell the truth when he had a chance?
Starr: Well, I’m not going to characterize what any person involved in this investigation has done. The record _ the question was with respect to Judge Hubbell. The fact of the matter is that we determined _ and we determined this in the deliberative process that I speak to with unremitting regularity _ that Judge Hubbell had not provided substantial assistance to the investigation. That was a decision _ that was a _
Q: Will Judge Hubbell be given an opportunity to provide substantial assistance, as you’re _
Starr: I’m not _ the question was will Judge Hubbell have an opportunity to provide further assistance.
Every person who has relevant information has that opportunity. We’re only a phone call away.
Q: Are you finding any problems with the Justice Department in their investigation into campaign finance? Are you guys working together on this?
Starr: I’m not going to comment with respect to another investigation, other than to say that from the very outset _ and I spoke to the attorney general of the United States very shortly after the appointment _ and throughout this process of my tenure, we have worked independently but collaboratively with the Justice Department with regular lines of communication. We have found those lines of communication helpful, useful, but nonetheless, the independence of our respective functions being established. We have absolutely no quarrel whatsoever with the Justice Department.
Q: Do you think your remarks today should put the White House on notice there may be further indictments forthcoming in this _
Starr: My task today was the task that I entered into on August the 8th of last year, which was to tell Mr. McDougal that we would, as a matter of honor, tell the court in open court what he had done in terms of cooperation with the investigation. And that’s the function today, and I’m not going to embellish on that or predict or project.
Q: Is this evidence going to give you the basis for asking that this grand jury be extended or that another one be impaneled in Washington?
Starr: Today I do not want to speak to grand jury practice, but we will speak to that in the appropriate season.
Q: Are you getting anything from Mr. McDougal that moves you closer to the White House, or are you talking about more transactions ...?
Starr: Yes, I don’t want to comment at all with respect to the nature of what Mr. McDougal has said.
Q: Can you give us any sense of when you’ll be in a position to make public the information that Mr. McDougal has provided?
Starr: I can’t comment.