Yesterday, Judge Robertson dismissed indictments against President Clinton's friend, Walter Hubbell, on the ground that the appointment of Starr as Special Prosecutor only gave Starr authority to investigate "whether any individuals or entities have committed a violation of any Federal criminal law, ... relating in any way to James B. McDougal's, President William Jefferson Clinton's, or Mrs. Hillary Rodham Clinton's relationships with Madison Guaranty Savings & Loan Association, Whitewater Development Corporation, or Capital Management Services Inc."
Judge Robertson based his decision on United States Code section 28 USC 593 and on the decision of the United States Supreme Court in Morrison v. Olson, 487 U.S. 654 (1988).
It has long been obvious that Special Prosecutor Starr has gone off on a tangent in investigating the claim that the President received oral sex from Monica Lewinsky and then told her to lie about it. Even if true, this would obviously have no connection with President Clinton's relationships with Whitewater Development Corporation back in the 1980s.
Starr's theory has been that if Clinton told Lewinsky to lie about having oral sex with the President, this means that Clinton might have lied about other things as well and thus there is a connection between Lewinsky and Whitewater, even though the Whitewater deal took place more than a decade before the President ever met Lewinsky.
Almost everybody who has thought about it has realized that Starr's claims are nonsense. Every human alive has sexual secrets which they do not wish revealed. There is no remote connection between that and a failed land deal in Arkansas.
Yet, before yesterday, nobody either in the Department of Justice or in the courts had had the balls to stand up and tell Starr to cut the crap. Judge Robertson finally did that yesterday.
Judge Robertson's opinion said that, under his reasoning, the Lewinsky case would not be affected, because the Attorney General had requested that Starr's original jurisdiction be extended to the Lewinsky matter, but Starr had received no similar mandate for the Hubbell case.
However, while it is understandable that the judge would want to limit the scope of his ruling, the bottom line is that there is no Congressional authority under the Ethics in Government Act for Starr to investigate the Lewinsky matter. Therefore, regardless of whether the Attorney General requested it or the Special Division approved it, there is no authority for a Special Prosecutor to investigate such a case.
In might take a few weeks or even a month before the courts realize this, but we can say with confidence that it is only a question of a short time before the Monica Lewinsky case is declared completely dead.