Literary editor, Starr protege wrote, edited much of report 2 are lawyers who share Ivy League backgrounds


WASHINGTON -- The voluminous report by Independent Counsel Kenneth W. Starr to be publicly released today is the product of more than a half-dozen authors, lawyers at Starr's office say.

But they said much of the editing and writing was done by two men in the office, Brett Kavanaugh and Stephen Bates.

If Kavanaugh is a kind of Starr protege, as he has been described, Bates may be thought of as someone whose origins and manner are modeled after Starr.

Bates, like Starr, grew up in a small town in north Texas, "way out near nowhere" a friend said. Also like Starr, he is known for his low-key and courteous demeanor.

Bates graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School but was adamant that he earn his living as a writer and not as a lawyer, several friends said.

The 40-year-old Bates is a part-time employee of Starr's office FTC and maintains another part-time job as literary editor of the Wilson Quarterly, published by the Wilson Center, affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution.

Abigail Thernstrom, who first met Bates when she was a lecturer at Harvard, said he was not a particularly political person.

"He did not fit the profile of a conservative ideologue in any way," she said, describing him as a brilliant writer who is low-key.

Kavanaugh, at 33, is one of the youngest members of the independent counsel's legal team. Nonetheless, he has been entrusted by Starr with some of the office's most erudite legal issues.

He is a native of the Washington area; his mother is Martha G. Kavanaugh, a Montgomery County Circuit Court judge, and his father is a lobbyist for the cosmetics industry. He graduated from Yale College and Yale Law School and first worked for Starr in his last year as solicitor general.

After joining the independent counsel's office, Kavanaugh led the investigation into the death of Vincent W. Foster Jr., a White House deputy counsel who killed himself in July 1993. Kavanaugh left the office in 1997 but this spring returned for an unsuccessful appeal to the Supreme Court for notes taken by Foster's lawyer, based on an argument that the lawyer-client privilege ended with death.

Pub Date: 9/11/98

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