NPR

Brett Kavanaugh Investigated A President, Then Voiced Concerns About Doing Just That

Trump's Supreme Court pick wanted prosecutors to ask President Clinton explicit questions and wrote the section of the Independent Counsel's report to Congress making the case for impeachment.
Brett Kavanaugh sits behind independent counsel Kenneth Starr as Starr testifies before the House Judiciary Committee on the possibility of former President Bill Clinton's impeachment in 1998. Source: David Hume Kennerly

A warning: Parts of this story contain content that is sexually explicit.

Twenty years ago Friday, the long-running independent counsel Whitewater investigation had come to a head, far from where it started, with prosecutors questioning President Bill Clinton about his relationship with a former White House intern, Monica Lewinsky.

That night, Clinton addressed the nation. "I answered their questions truthfully, including questions about my private life," Clinton said. "Questions no American citizen would ever want to answer."

One of the people involved in drafting those questions, Brett Kavanaugh, is now President Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court.

In 1994, Kavanaugh wasn't even 30 years old yet. He was finishing up a Supreme Court clerkship, was recruited to a big deal law firm, when the guy who recruited him, Ken Starr was drafted to take over the independent counsel investigation into Whitewater.

"So, I immediately sat down with Brett over lunch and encouraged him to postpone the private practice of law by say, oh six months or so, and come join my team in the Washington, DC office," Starr told NPR.

Starr chuckles slightly as he talks

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