Kenneth Starr (search) says he never should have led the investigation that resulted in President Clinton's (search) impeachment.

The former independent counsel, now dean of the Pepperdine University law school, says "the most fundamental thing that could have been done differently" was for somebody else to have investigated Clinton's statements under oath denying he had an affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky (search).

Starr said his role in a yearlong investigation of Clinton should have focused instead on Clinton's role in the failed Arkansas land deal known as Whitewater.

"There was a sense on the part of the country that my [Lewinsky] effort was an effort somehow to expand the [Whitewater] investigation, when it was separate," he told the Santa Barbara News-Press following a speech Wednesday.

Clinton has accused Starr of running a Republican effort to ruin his presidency. Starr, however, defended the integrity of the investigation.

"It reinforced the proposition that all of us are subject to the law, no matter how high our station," he said. "The facts are the facts."

At his 1999 impeachment trial, Clinton was acquitted by the Senate of perjury and obstruction of justice. The Whitewater case ended with the conviction of Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker and two of Clinton's former business partners for fraud and conspiracy. Clinton was never charged.