President Donald Trump’s defense team for his impeachment trial will include former Independent Counsel Ken Starr, who played a central role in the impeachment of President Bill Clinton, and Alan Dershowitz, the high-profile attorney who previously defended Jeffrey Epstein and O.J. Simpson.
After news of that legal tandem broke on Friday, Monica Lewinsky ― who also featured prominently in the last impeachment trial ― had to vent some steam.
“This is definitely an ‘are you fucking kidding me?’ kinda day,” Lewinsky tweeted.
Starr’s 1998 report on Clinton’s sexual relationship with the onetime White House intern was deemed so unnecessarily graphic and salacious ― writer Renata Adler dubbed it a “voluminous work of demented pornography” ― that then-Attorney General Janet Reno implemented new regulations restricting the reports of future special prosecutors.
Lewinsky later described Starr’s interactions with her during the investigation as “avuncular and creepy,” elaborating in a 2018 story for Vanity Fair:
This was the independent prosecutor who had investigated me, a former White House intern; the man whose staff, accompanied by a group of F.B.I. agents (Starr himself was not there), had hustled me into a hotel room near the Pentagon and informed me that unless I cooperated with them I could face 27 years in prison. This was the man who had turned my 24-year-old life into a living hell in his effort to investigate and prosecute President Bill Clinton on charges that would eventually include obstruction of justice and lying under oath — lying about having maintained a long-term extramarital relationship with me.
Today, Lewinsky is an outspoken advocate against bullying, thanks to her personal experience as a target of what she calls a “culture of shame.”
“In 1998, I lost my reputation and my dignity,” she said in a 2018 speech. “I lost almost everything, and I almost lost my life.”
Sorry, Monica. It seems time really is a flat circle.