Rehnquist's Glass House

The man who will preside over Clinton's trial has veracity issues of his own

That Ken Starr showed no reservation about using convenient but flawed material provided by Johnson in a segment of his investigation makes one wonder whether Rehnquist might apply a similar evidentiary standard to Clinton's trial. Then too, there is the unsettling feeling that Rehnquist has at least tacitly orchestrated the impeachment. By naming intensely conservative judge David Sentelle as chair of the U.S. Court of Appeals Special Division in 1994, Rehnquist insured that doggedly partisan independent counsels would be appointed to investigate the Clinton administration. Sentelle frequently lunches with Jesse Helms, and until his recent defeat, Lauch Faircloth, who served as a conduit between Johnson's Arkansas Project cronies and Starr, whom Sentelle appointed.

All this suggests that Rehnquist has little standing to preside over a perjury trial. But in Washington, the truth is far less persuasive than the company you keep.

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