Malacandra.me

A Wingnut’s wingnut

A Wingnut's wingnut

by digby


Kavanaugh might as well have been shooting watermelons in his backyard. (Those who followed the Clinton scandals will know what I'm talking about.) He was a Vince Foster obsessive, one of the worst of the worst:

Anticipating the imminent publication of Kenneth Starr’s memoir of the Clinton impeachment, I looked into Judge Kavanaugh’s files in the Office of Independent Counsel records, housed in the National Archives. What I discovered sheds light on how Mr. Kavanaugh made his way in his early career, and how he flagrantly breached his role as a neutral public servant and followed the imperatives of a political operative.

Mr. Kavanaugh served under Mr. Starr as associate independent counsel between 1994 and 1997, and then again in 1998. Although not yet a judge, he was charged with investigating impartially what Attorney General Janet Reno deemed substantial specific accusations of presidential misconduct arising from a failed real estate investment known as Whitewater.

Judge Starr’s predecessor as independent counsel, Robert Fiske, had looked into unfounded claims that the White House counsel Vincent Foster, who committed suicide in Fort Marcy Park in 1993, had in fact been murdered as part of an alleged White House cover-up related to Whitewater. After a thorough investigation, Mr. Fiske concluded in 1994 that there was nothing to the conspiracy theories and that Mr. Foster, who suffered from depression, had indeed killed himself. Official accounts by the National Park Service in 1993 and by a Republican congressman, William Clinger, the ranking member of the House Government Affairs Committee in 1994, came to an identical conclusion, as did a bipartisan report of the Senate Banking Committee early in 1995.

But shortly after the Senate report was released, Mr. Kavanaugh convinced Mr. Starr to reopen what he called a “full-fledged” investigation of the Foster matter, telling his colleagues, as justification, that “we have received allegations that Mr. Foster’s death related to President and Mrs. Clinton’s involvement” in Whitewater and other alleged scandals.

Who were these unnamed, presumably reliable sources on whose word the case should be reopened? Mr. Kavanaugh’s files in the National Archives make clear that they were some of the most ludicrous hard-right conspiracy-mongers of the time.

One was Reed Irvine, a self-appointed debunker of the “fake news” of mainstream media. Another was Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, an English author of a book entitled “The Secret Life of Bill Clinton” that posited that the Oklahoma City bombing was an F.B.I. plot gone awry. A third was Christopher Ruddy, today the chief executive of Newsmax and confidant of President Trump, but at the time on the payroll of the right-wing tycoon Richard Mellon Scaife to promote conspiracies.

As inventive as they were vindictive, these partisans concocted all sorts of wild theories to explain why Mr. Foster could not have killed himself. According to one of Mr. Kavanaugh’s sources, Mr. Foster had been working for the National Security Agency and was being blackmailed by the Israelis over a secret Swiss bank account. Carpet fibers had been found on Mr. Foster’s clothing, which was proof positive that he was murdered, his body wrapped in a carpet and then dumped. Another charged that “long blond hairs” on Mr. Foster’s clothing pointed to a cover-up.

Mr. Kavanaugh noted in various memos that he personally believed that Mr. Foster had indeed committed suicide — “my thoughts, not the Office’s position,” he clarified at one point. But he did not file away the harebrained theories; instead, he apparently felt obligated to address the conspiracy-mongers’ already disproved fantasies. And for nearly three years at a cost of $2 million he aggressively followed up. He investigated the Swiss bank account connection, down to examining Mr. Foster’s American Express bills for flights to Switzerland. He meticulously examined the White House carpets, old and new. (By now, Mr. Foster had been dead four years.) He sent investigators in search of follicle specimens from Mr. Foster’s bereft, blond, teenage daughter. (“We have Foster’s hair,” one agent working for Mr. Kavanaugh reported in triumph.)

Mr. Kavanaugh apparently took a special interest in Hillary Clinton’s bruited affair with Mr. Foster, a popular rumor in the fever swamps of the right. As he reported, his investigators “asked numerous people about it,” before he decided to ask Mrs. Clinton herself.

Of course, Mr. Kavanaugh proved nothing new, as there was nothing new to prove except in conspiratorial illusion. But there was nothing funny about his Inspector Clouseau performance. For months, his inquiries callously harassed a grieving family and Mr. Foster’s friends. His office spread malicious sexual innuendo about Hillary Clinton, whom he seems to have regarded as prey. By reopening a closed investigation, he irresponsibly gave the Foster conspiracy freaks credibility to continue smearing the Clintons and poison public debate for another three years, all at the taxpayers’ expense.


I can't believe one of Starr's made men is going to be on the Supreme Court. These people are zombies and they've been dining on their own voters brains for decades now.