Brett Kavanaugh Wrote Memo With Explicit Questions About Monica Lewinsky During Bill Clinton Investigation
Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh insisted that prosecutors during Bill Clinton‘s investigation press the former president with graphic questions about his extramarital affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, according to a memo released on Monday.
The National Archives released the full memo from August 1998 after the Washington Post requested it, invoking the Freedom of Information Act.
Kavanaugh worked over three years for Ken Starr, the independent counsel who led several inquiries into Clinton during his time in office. Kavanaugh had a hand in the report that ultimately compelled Congress to call for Clinton’s impeachment.
“He has lied to his aides,” Kavanaugh wrote of Clinton in the memo. “He has lied to the American people. He has tried to disgrace you” — meaning Mr. Starr — “and this office with a sustained propaganda campaign that would make Nixon blush.”
The memo counted 10 questions about explicit sexual acts Clinton and Lewinsky allegedly committed in the White House. These questions included:
“If Monica Lewinsky says that you inserted a cigar into her vagina while you were in the Oval Office area, would she be lying?”
“If Monica Lewinsky says that you had phone sex with her on approximately 15 occasions, would she be lying?”
“If Monica Lewinsky says that you ejaculated into her mouth on two occasions in the Oval Office area, would she be lying?”
“If Monica Lewinsky says that you masturbated into a trash can in your secretary’s office, would she be lying?”
Details of the memo had also reportedly been previously shared in Ken Gormley‘s 2010 book The Death of American Virtue: Clinton vs. Starr.
The Times reported that “Robert J. Bittman, the deputy counsel who led the Lewinsky prosecution for Mr. Starr, said Mr. Kavanaugh had recognized that the memo was a misstep.” Bittman told the newspaper that Kavanaugh regretted the “tone” of the memo.
The timing of the release of this memo is curious, as President Donald Trump and special counsel Robert Mueller seem to be developing an increasingly tense relationship with respect to Mueller’s approach to the probe into potential collusion with Russian government officials.
Rumors about a possible one-on-one interview between Mueller and Trump have been circulating for several months, and the president’s legal team has event sent the special counsel a letter detailing the terms and conditions for such a sit-down.
Kavanaugh is known for his view that a sitting president cannot be indicted for any crimes while in office. In 2009, he wrote that Congress should work to protect the president from any criminal investigations: “the indictment and trial of a sitting President… would ill serve the public interest, especially in times of financial or national security crisis.”