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StarrA Reassessment$
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Benjamin Wittes

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780300092523

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300092523.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM YALE SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.yale.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Yale University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in YSO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

The Truth Commission and Monica

The Truth Commission and Monica

(p.143) Chapter 4 The Truth Commission and Monica

Benjamin Wittes

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on the Monica Lewinsky investigation, in which Kenneth Starr's truth commission vision came to its full fruition. The Lewinsky affair involved an investigation that was chiefly about truth itself—specifically, about the president's lies and his efforts to encourage others to lie about the most personal of subjects imaginable. The purpose of the investigation, in other words, was to uncover a kind of metatruth, or, at least, to uncover the truth about falsehood, a goal that, in the context of an investigation of sexual infidelity, necessarily raised the costs of Starr's nonprosecutorial approach. Starr, however, did not let circumstances alter his vision of his role at all. To the contrary, his attitude remained unfortunately consistent. To reveal the truth about the president, he deployed the coercive power of a grand jury to investigate the specific nature of Clinton's sexual relationship with a young woman.

Keywords:   truth commission vision, Monica Lewinsky investigation, metatruth, falsehood, sexual infidelity, nonprosecutorial approach

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