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Ken Starr wants to leave the independent counsel's post and has told a three-judge panel that he plans to leave before the end of the year. Given the thankless nature of the job, who can blame him?

However, Starr . . . should stay on to see his work through to completion. After all, this investigation is hardly ordinary. It resulted in the impeachment of the president and his near-removal from office.

We could understand Starr's point if there were only loose ends left and subordinates could wrap up the loose ends and edit the final report. But Starr won't say if that's the case and has declined to tell the three-judge panel what, if any, significant prosecutions remain.

Starr has said that he expected the investigation and the final report to be done by November 2000. We would hope it is a lot sooner than that. It would be better if it ended before the end of this year. . . .

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