Independent Counsels

Should Congress make major changes in the law?


Independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr may be at a critical stage in the Whitewater investigation. The special prosecutor reportedly is weighing evidence to decide whether to bring criminal charges against President Clinton or the first lady stemming from their involvement in the failed Arkansas development. Starr has been criticized for his outside legal work and political activities. In addition, the Whitewater investigation has provoked new criticism of the independent counsel law. Critics say the post-Watergate law costs too much, hurts innocent people and reduces public confidence in government. But supporters say the law is needed to ensure impartial investigations of misconduct by top officials. Congress is being urged to rewrite the law, and Clinton himself has said the act's costs outweigh its benefits.

Whitewater independent counsel ...

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