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Brill Response to Starr's June 16 Letter

Full text of a one-page statement by Steven Brill, in response to a letter from Kenneth Starr. For more information, read the recent stories and original documents on the topic.

June 16, 1998

Statement by Steven Brill

I have only had a chance to read Judge Starr's letter quickly. We will, of course, publish it in its entirety in our next issue.

First, I am pleased that Judge Starr again does not dispute any of the quotes attributed by me to him.

Second, some of the reporters who have covered Judge Starr now join with him in disputing some of the specifics of how they got some of their information. Although I have already answered one of those complaints (in the attached letter to Susan Schmidt responding to a letter that she apparently shared with Judge Starr before or at the same time she sent it to me), the simple way to make all of this as clear as possible is for Judge Starr and his deputies to release logs of the telephone calls and in-person conversations of any reporters who were "briefed" by his office during the time in question. Also, assuming, as Judge Starr states in his letter, that there was no significance to these briefings having been done on background as opposed to on the record, Judge Starr might consider releasing all reporters from any pledges of confidentiality that were extracted by him and his deputies, such as the one referred to on page 151 of my article that was extracted from the New York Times.

Third, Judge Starr disputes my legal analysis of the scope of Rule 6-E. My understanding of the applicable law (which is not based on any help I got or needed from Mr. Kendall) is that it is rooted in the May ruling of the U.S. court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and the prior cases cited therein. As I have stated before, I am sure that Judge Starr sincerely believes in his view of the law - just as I believe that other lawyers and judges have and will continue to disagree with him.

© Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

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