Friday, November 20, 1998 Published at 04:18 GMT
Starr puts his case
Role reversal: Kenneth Starr is sworn in to give evidence
Kenneth Starr has publically accused President Bill Clinton of a concerted plan to lie and cover up his affair with Monica Lewinsky.
Speaking calmly minutes after a partisan row which heard him described as a "federally paid sex policeman", he told the packed hearing that the president had abused the machinery of government.
"The evidence suggests that the president repeatedly tried to thwart the legal process," he said.
He accused the president of "choosing deception" on at least six occasions to cover up the affair.
"He did not expressively tell Miss Lewinsky to lie, he did not have to do so," he said.
Mr Starr alleged that the president developed an understanding with Ms Lewinsky that they would both make "false statements" to hide the relationship.
"This was no longer an issue of private conduct."
The president had abused his position as the head of government to ensure that his staff and administration delayed, obstructed and actively sought to prevent investigation of his behaviour, the special prosecutor said.
Mr Starr further alleged that the president's own legal advisers had been sucked into the White House lies as Mr Clinton stepped up efforts to protect himself.
Following the statement, Mr Starr faced questioning from lawyers representing both Democrats and Republicans.
Concluding questioning for the Democrats, Abbe Lowell suggested that Mr Starr's report had been compromised by his own behaviour, including alleged leaks to the media.
But Mr Starr replied: "The facts (of the case) are as we have found them.
"Not one of your questions (to me) suggests that the president was not involved in offences that (members) now have to evaluate."
Speaking during tense scenes between the Republican majority and the Democrats, he said: "What does lying under oath do to the rule of law?"
"Does the law belong to some people where others are immune?"
Democrat John Conyers said Mr Starr had "crossed the line into obsession" and labelled the eight month investigation a waste of millions of dollars.
Mr Hyde also rejected a proposal to extend cross-examination of Mr Starr.
"This is a step we take to carry out our constitutional duty."
Mr Clinton is currently in Japan on a tour of the Asia-Pacific region.