By Quin Hillyer at the Washington Examiner;

Among the absurd attacks the Left will hurl at Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh in the coming weeks is the claim that, as one CNN talking head put it, Kavanaugh supposedly was independent counsel Kenneth Starr’s partisan “attack dog” against the Clintons.

I can personally attest that this smear is garbage.

As a former Capitol Hill staffer and then-Arkansas Democrat-Gazette editorial writer who had done copious research into the vast realm of Clinton scandals, I was commissioned by the Wall Street Journal editorial page in November 1997 to review a book on those scandals — a book with some good new reporting, but sometimes extravagant conclusions. Double-checking a number of the book’s assertions, apparently I asked enough of the right questions to enough of the right people. Kavanaugh, then a top deputy to Starr, agreed (upon the recommendation of his superiors) to help me separate wheat from chaff.

He wasn’t “leaking” privileged information, but rather helping me cross-reference and access already-public, but not widely noticed, accurate information — particularly about the sad suicide of Clinton insider Vince Foster. Far from being a partisan attack dog, Kavanaugh helped walk me through material that tended more to absolve the Clintons (on the specific issues at hand) than condemn them. He wasn’t pro-Clinton or anti-Clinton, but assertively pro-fact and pro-fairness.

People now may forget how widespread were the fevered suspicions that Foster had been murdered and his body moved, perhaps even from the White House itself. In several extensive phone conversations with me, Kavanaugh put those suspicions decisively to rest.

Swearing-in Ceremony for Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Oval. Rose Garden.

Of course, it is widely known that Kavanaugh was directly in charge of the separate report into Foster’s death that definitively established it was a suicide, in Fort Marcy Park, with Foster’s own revolver. My own conversations with Kavanaugh impressed me with his thoughtfulness and even-handedness and his particular concern that innocent minor players in the Clinton drama not be subjected to untoward rumors.

Two years later, famed Watergate scoopmeister Bob Woodward provided the definitive account of the Starr investigation. It confirmed, repeatedly, that Kavanaugh, far from being a braying attack dog, instead was the no-nonsense voice of wise restraint….

[The full column is at this link.]

PS When the photo above was taken in June 1, 2006, in the Rose Garden, I was about six rows away. Here’s what I wrote that night, 12 years ago: “By the way, now-Judge Kavanaugh acquitted himself (pun sort of intended) very well indeed at his swearing in, with very appropriate and wise and respectful words about a judge’s role and the necessity of humility, etc. He will make a superb judge — and, perhaps, down the line, a superb Justice!”

 

 

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