Ken Starr Went to Extremes for Jeffrey Epstein: Book

Prosecutor describes strategy as 'scorched-earth defense' of billionaire suspect
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 14, 2021 5:09 PM CDT
Book: Ken Starr Pushed Limits to Help Jeffrey Epstein
Ken Starr makes his case in the Senate for former President Trump during the impeachment trial in January 2020.   (Senate Television via AP)

Ken Starr, who earlier in his career pressed the investigation of President Bill Clinton's affair with an intern, went to great lengths to protect billionaire Jeffrey Epstein from sex crimes prosecution, a new book says. Perversion of Justice: The Jeffrey Epstein Story says Starr "used his political connections in the White House" to try to get the Justice Department to drop the case, the Guardian reports. In 2008, with Starr's help, Epstein effectively was granted immunity in a secret deal, Julie K Brown writes. Brown is the Miami Herald reporter who later uncovered the agreement. After being convicted of procuring a child for prostitution and soliciting a prostitute, Epstein was sentenced to 13 months in jail and allowed to spend 12 hours a day in an office, per the Independent. Eleven years after that deal was secured, Epstein was arrested on sex trafficking charges. He was found dead in his jail cell in August 2019.

Epstein's legal team turned to Starr because of his ties to President George W. Bush's administration, Brown writes. Starr pushed hard. A letter to a US deputy attorney general escalated into accusations. "It was a scorched-earth defense like I had never seen before," another prosecutor said, that included other accusations against a Florida prosecutor in the Epstein case. The allegations were that prosecutors were trying to cut plea deals to benefit their friends. The strategy apparently worked: The prosecutor said it was clear that someone in Washington was "calling the shots." It was a different direction for Starr, given his work on the Clinton case and his removal as president of Baylor University over the way reports of sexual assaults by football players were handled. Asked about the book, Starr said, "It's not appropriate to discuss any counsel I or my law firm provided to a client," per the Hill. "I have always tried to act with integrity and to be guided by the great principles of the American legal system." (More Jeffrey Epstein stories.)

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