Brett Kavanaugh co-wrote Special Counsel Kenneth Starr’s investigative report of Bill Clinton which led to his impeachment for misleading the public.— #TrumpChats (@TrumpChatting) August 1, 2018
Now he’s @realDonaldTrump’s top pick for #SCOTUS. #Confused pic.twitter.com/tUFzUSpvPd
President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh wrote a list of sexually-graphic questions he believed prosecutors should ask President Bill Clinton during his televised testimony on Aug. 17, 1998.
At the time, Kavanaugh served as associate counsel to independent counsel Kenneth Starr, who was heading the Department of Justice’s investigation into Clinton’s affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
This is the tamest part of this Brett Kavanaugh memo, sent 20 years ago this past week. (Specific questions followed.) At this point, it's pretty clear he thought Clinton should be out of office. https://t.co/MCkGk4OQ0v pic.twitter.com/qhbfOC930j— Chris Geidner (@chrisgeidner) August 20, 2018
Despite writing that he opposed giving the president “any break” in the document titled “Slack for the President?,” Kavanaugh later stated that sitting presidents shouldn’t be indicted while in office.
During a panel discussion at Georgetown University in 1998, he questioned whether having a special counsel investigating a sitting president was even constitutional.
"I tend to think it has to be the Congress, because of the kind of attacks that we've seen recently," Kavanaugh said at the time, referencing Clinton allies’ attacks against the investigation. "It is war, and if it's going to be be war, it's got to be Congress and not an isolated prosecutor appointed by a panel of three judges we've never heard of."
In 2009, Kavanaugh wrote a law review article making the case that a sitting president should be impeached, and not subject to civil litigation or criminal investigation.
"This is not something I necessarily thought in the 1980s or 1990s," Kavanaugh wrote. "Like many Americans at that time, I believed that the President should be required to shoulder the same obligations that we all carry. But in retrospect, that seems a mistake. Looking back to the late 1990s, for example, the nation certainly would have been better off if President Clinton could have focused on Osama bin Laden without being distracted by the Paula Jones sexual harassment case and its criminal investigation offshoots."
He then added that "No single prosecutor, judge, or jury should be able to accomplish what the Constitution assigns to the Congress,” meaning that only an impeachment process would do in the case the president did something "dastardly."
With Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings in the Senate scheduled to begin on Sept. 4, the release of these documents will surely force lawmakers to question the judge’s contradictory claims. Worse yet, the graphic nature of the questions suggested by Kavanaugh may prompt senators to doubt the judge will act fairly while overseeing Supreme Court cases, considering he may have been biased against Clinton because of his politics.
On Twitter, users were clearly upset at how hypocritical Kavanaugh seems, and how Trump also appears to ignore Kavanaugh’s involvement in the partisan investigation into Clinton while attacking special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe because of partisanship.
Many people questioned whether we should be using the same line of questioning on Trump regarding his alleged affair with Stormy Daniels.
Trump’s SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh got his start working on Republican Ken Starr’s inquiry into Bill Clinton, as lead author of the Starr Report.— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) August 20, 2018
But Trump insists that Republican Bob Mueller’s investigation is illegitimate because it (allegedly) has “Angry Democrats” on it.
Questions for Bill Clinton by Brett Kavanaugh, the wackjob partisan freakshow who the GOP is currently railroading into a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land before the jig is up with their traitor President. https://t.co/RFSPTMLa0z pic.twitter.com/xCu6IJydjB— Steve Silberman (@stevesilberman) August 20, 2018=
Exactly why Trump wants him— connie long (@connielong) August 20, 2018
So it looks like this judge is highly biased against the Democratic party and isn't as principled or impartial as proclaimed by Republicans. He is highly tainted & is not qualified to assume Supreme court if he won't apply the same standard w/Trump.— Politics News Media (@PoliticsNewsUSA) August 20, 2018
So are we supposed to ask Trump the same questions regarding Stormy Daniels and all the other wanna be porn stars ? Probably get 3 different stories within 15 minutes.— Chris Holladay (@ChrisHolladay64) August 20, 2018
It will be tough for Kavanaugh to survive his confirmation hearings without seeming like he flip-flopped on his approach to constitutional law if he was both involved in investigating a sitting president while claiming he believed that presidents shouldn’t investigated.
While Trump may have picked Kavanaugh precisely because he wrote about his opposition to indicting a sitting president, Kavanaugh's actions show he may be OK with the practice so long as the sitting president is a Democrat. But playing the favoritism game does not look good on a Supreme Court Justice, not that it matters to Trump.