The Washington Post recounts an unflattering chapter in Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s past — his push to prolong the tragedy of the death of Bill Clinton aide Vince Foster, the Little Rock lawyer who joined the Clintons in Washington in 1993.

Kavanaugh was a willing tool of special prosecutor Kenneth Starr in undertaking a THIRD investigation of Foster’s suicide shortly after the beginning of the Clinton administration. This probe was in response to unsupported conspiracy theories by political enemies of Clinton. In the end, Starr concluded as many others had before, that the death was a suicide. But this was not before heaping still more pain on a bereaved family and helping to implant Foster’s death in the trove of conspiracy theories still beloved of people like Donald Trump (who still invokes Foster’s death.) Foster’s sister wrote about this for the Post.


These are ugly people.

Kavanaugh has now decided it’s a bad thing to mount prosecutorial inquiries of sitting presidents. You can see why Trump likes him so much. The new Post article rests on a document of Kavanaugh’s recently unearthed.


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.”

The four-page memo, obtained by The Washington Post from the Library of Congress, sheds light on how Kavanaugh’s thinking evolved on the legal rights of sitting presidents.

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.

“Unsupported allegations.” Mull on that. Whereas supported allegations of connivance by Trump intimates and campaigners during the campaign with Russians are not worthy of Justice Department review.

UPDATE: And for a good take on Kavanaugh’s torture of the Foster family, I recommend Charles Pierce.