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From: John King/CNN White House Correspondent
In: Washington, D.C.
Posted 6-29-97

Subject: Sen. Nickles Urges Quick End To Starr's Investigation

A leading Republican senator said Sunday it was time for independent counsel Kenneth Starr to bring his Whitewater investigation to a close.

Sen. Don Nickles (R-Okla.), the deputy Senate majority leader, said: "[Starr] needs to wrap the investigation up and draw it to a close. ... I hope that he will wrap it up.

Even so, Nickles brushed aside Democratic demands that Starr step down because he had interviewed women in Arkansas about President Clinton's alleged infidelities. "To call for [Starr's] resignation or departure I think is wrong. But I do hope he can wrap it up pretty quick," Nickles said.

On the weekend talk show circuit, Senators Bob Kerrey (D-Neb.) and Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) said interviewing women about Clinton's personal life crossed the line and exposed Starr's investigation as overly political.

"It is time for him to go to Pepperdine," Kerrey said on NBC's "Meet the Press," a reference to Starr's offer to become a dean at the California university. Kerrey said Starr has committed "an abuse of the power of the office ... It is completely inappropriate and unacceptable for him to be doing this."

Durbin said Starr "started out under a cloud and now he is in a real thunderstorm."

Nickles said he accepted Starr's explanation that he was not looking into Clinton's personal life but was searching for evidence to corroborate - or contradict - statements by the president and Hillary Rodham Clinton about events and financial dealings under investigation.

Nickles partly defended Starr's investigation, saying it was hobbled by what the senator called a determined White House effort to refuse any cooperation.

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