When Brett Kavanaugh was helping Ken Starr investigate the affair between President Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky back in August 1998, he advised the independent council that no questions were off the table. In a memo, found in the National Archives, he advised Starr to ask Clinton graphic questions about their relationship and sex practices.
Shortly after, Starr concluded that Clinton had not been truthful in his sworn testimony regarding his relations with Lewinsky, leading to the president’s impeachment by the Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives over charges of obstruction of justice and perjury.
It is ironic that 20 years later Kavanaugh, who has been nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court by the Trump administration, will likely face questions surrounding an alleged sexual assault he has been accused of committing during a high school party back in the early 1980s. Kavanaugh, less than two weeks ago, swore under oath to the Senate Judiciary Committee that he has never sexually harassed or assaulted anyone as a legal adult. (Kavanaugh is accused of sexually assaulting a young woman when he was 17, which is technically before he became a legal adult.)
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Last week, it was reported that Sen. Dianne Feinstein had forwarded a letter describing the events to the FBI for investigation. On Sunday, Christine Blasey Ford went public with her accusations, telling the Washington Post that Kavanaugh and a friend “corralled her into a bedroom” during a party in the early 1980’s. Ford, a clinical psychology professor in California, described how Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed on her back and groped her over her clothes, grinded his body against hers, tried to pull off her clothes, and held his hand over her mouth as she tried to scream.
“I thought he might inadvertently kill me,” Ford told the Post. Kavanaugh’s friend jumped on top of them allowing her to escape.
Kavanaugh has denied the allegations. However, a growing number of Republicans have called on the Senate to delay his confirmation until both sides have a chance to tell their side of the story.
If it were up to Kavanaugh — or, at least, if senators apply the same standard to Kavanaugh that he would have applied to President Clinton — there would be no question out-of-bounds and he would be cut zero slack. In his memo to Starr under the subject line “Slack for the President?”, Kavanaugh wrote: “I am strongly opposed to giving the President any ‘break’ in the questioning regarding the details of the Lewinsky relationship — unless before his questioning on Monday, he either (i) resigns or (ii) confesses perjury and issues a public apology to you.”
Kavanaugh continued: “I have tried hard to bend over backwards and to be fair to him and to think of all reasonable defenses to his pattern of behavior. In the end I am convinced that there really are none. The idea of going easy on him at the questioning is thus abhorrent to me.”
Kavanaugh told Starr that they needed to obtain a full testimony regarding the details surrounding their relationship because Clinton had “disgraced his Office, the legal system, and the American people by having sex with a 22-year-old intern and turning her life into shambles.”
He then suggested a list of graphic questions for Starr to ask Clinton including: whether they had phone sex, whether he had put a cigar in her genitals, whether he ejaculated into her mouth, and questions about several other sex acts.