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Pierce writes: "There were three crises in democracy immediately prior to the current one, and all of them benefitted Kavanaugh's political mentors and helped him build his career."

Mitch McConnell, Brett Kavanaugh and Mike Pence. (photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Mitch McConnell, Brett Kavanaugh and Mike Pence. (photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Brett Kavanaugh Was Involved in 3 Different Crises of Democracy

By Charles Pierce, Esquire

06 August 18

All of which he used to benefit himself.

f all the perilous nonsense involved in the Great Penis Hunt of 1998, the most singularly indecent episode was the relentless fishing expedition into the suicide of Vincent Foster, the first White House counsel of the Clinton administration. On July 23, 1993, Foster shot himself to death under a tree in Fort Marcy Park in Virginia. Prior to taking his own life, Foster told friends that he was being overwhelmed by depression in the wake of the uproar over the firings of certain press corps pets in the White House Travel Office, which was another early chapter in the By-Any-Means-Necessary pursuit of the Clintons that continues in certain feverish quarters even today.

(In the note he left behind, Foster specifically mentioned The Wall Street Journal, the editorial page of which was at the time run by a conspiratorial nutball named Robert Bartley. I wonder if they have a copy of that note hanging on the wall of the editorial offices, next to Paul Gigot's Pulitzer.)

However, over the next couple years, the Republicans in the Congress, and their media allies in newspapers and on radio and TV, heedless of the pain endured by Foster's family, and by his colleagues in the White House, kept digging up Foster's corpse and flogging the Clinton Administration with it. The late charlatan Jerry Falwell promoted a bit of political porn called The Clinton Chronicles, which argued that Foster was merely another person that the Clintons had murdered. Various rightwing journalists excavated the open wound with promiscuous glee; one of these was Christopher Ruddy, who has re-emerged as a Trump Whisperer over the past two years when he should have been mowing the Foster family's lawn for the rest of his life. Congressman Dan Burton, who had current Trump aide David Bossie on his staff, famously shot a melon in his backyard to "prove" that Foster couldn't have killed himself.

Subsequent investigations failed to stop the onslaught. The autopsy concluded that Foster had committed suicide, so did a ludicrous Senate Banking Committee investigation headed by the ridiculous Al D'Amato. And, most important, so did Robert Fiske, the original Whitewater special prosecutor. In fact, it was this conclusion that was partly responsible for Fiske's being replaced by Kenneth Starr, who, because he is Kenneth Starr and a hack, opened the investigation again and handed it off to an ambitious lawyer in his office named...Brett Kavanaugh. From The Washington Post (emphasis added):

In early 1995, however, Kavanaugh offered his boss, independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr, the legal rationale for expanding his investigation of the Arkansas financial dealings of President Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary, to include the Foster death, according to a memo he wrote on March 24, 1995. Kavanaugh, then 30, argued that unsupported allegations that Foster may have been murdered gave Starr the right to probe the matter more deeply. Foster’s death had already been the focus of two investigations, both concluding that Foster committed suicide. “We are currently investigating Vincent Foster’s death to determine, among other things, whether he was murdered in violation of federal criminal law,” Kavanaugh wrote to Starr and six other officials in a memo offering legal justification for the probe. “[I]t necessarily follows that we must have the authority to fully investigate Foster’s death.”
His handling of Starr’s Foster probe helped elevate Kavanaugh’s career, but the lengthy inquiry enabled conspiracy theories to flourish and add to the tumult of the Clinton presidency. Once the Foster matter was closed, Starr’s office continued to investigate the Clintons and eventually veered into the president’s relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Kavanaugh pursued the Foster inquiry at Starr’s request, even though he and others in the office soon came to believe that Foster killed himself, according to two people who worked with him at the time. Ultimately, Kavanaugh’s report in October 1997 affirmed earlier findings of suicide. The Foster component of Starr’s investigation cost about $2 million and lasted three years.

(An aside—any Republican operative, whether they have their own cable TV show or not, who expresses surprise and shock that there are so many people who believe the fanciful conspiracy theories of the QAnon crowd should examine their own damn conscience and ask where they were when the Republicans in Congress and high-priced conservative lawyers thought the idea that the president had his White House counsel murdered worthy of not one, but two congressional investigations, and not one, but two special prosecutors. It didn't start with this president*, kids.)

To me, the Post story is overly generous to Kavanaugh, using his involvement in the Foster investigation, and his subsequent statements asserting that presidents should not be pestered by special prosecutors while in office, as being indicative of an "evolution" in Kavanaugh's legal thinking. Me? I think it marks him as a jumped-up hack with a nice CV who will do whatever he's told. There were three crises in democracy immediately prior to the current one, and all of them benefitted Kavanaugh's political mentors and helped him build his career: the Great Penis Hunt, the burglary of the 2000 election, and the Bush administration's descent into the dark side. Brett Kavanaugh was involved in all three of them. That would be a no, then, on his nomination. your social media marketing partner
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