Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has been compared to Forrest Gump because he’s been present at some of the lowest moments in Republican history, including the 2000 Florida recount. But Kavanaugh’s most interesting foray into partisan warfare is his work for independent counsel Ken Starr, who was investigating, well, everything related to Bill Clinton.
In that case, Kavanaugh showed an almost unseemly obsession with Clinton’s penis and what he was doing with it.
Kavanaugh was the principal author of the Starr Report, the summary of Starr’s multiple investigations into Clinton’s actions. Although the report covered a wide-range of issues, it focused on Clinton’s sexual relationship with intern Monica Lewinsky in lurid, almost pornographic detail.
Kavanaugh went after Clinton with a partisan fervor that would cheer any Fox News viewer. Clinton “has disgraced his Office, the legal system, and the American people by having sex with a 22-year-old intern and turning her life into a shambles,” said Kavanaugh, sounding more like a preacher than an attorney (let alone Supreme Court Justice.).
But for someone so disgusted by the sex, Kavanaugh sure took a prurient interest in it.
According to Ken Gormley’s book The Death of American Virtue: Clinton vs. Starr, Kavanaugh pushed hard to have investigators ask the most detailed questions possible, in a clear effort to embarrass the president.
That information found its way into the report (and the numerous leaks from Starr’s office that preceded its release). Kavanaugh lovingly detailed how Lewinsky performed oral sex on Clinton nine times but not “to completion.”
“On all nine of those occasions, the President fondled and kissed her bare breasts,” Kavanaugh wrote breathlessly. “He touched her genitals, both through her underwear and directly, bringing her to orgasm on two occasions. On one occasion, the President inserted a cigar into her vagina.”
Kavanaugh also wrote about how Clinton masturbated into a sink, was getting oral sex while on the phone with members of Congress and engaged in phone sex with Lewinsky. In a footnote, Kavanaugh added that the pair also “engaged in oral-anal contact as well,” but apparently this was too much even for him to discuss at length.
Kavanaugh’s lurid prose was criticized as sign of a thinly veiled vendetta. Judge Richard Posner, a federal appeals court judge appointed by Ronald Reagan, said “We expect better from our prosecutors; …they are not to hate their quarry.”
Kavanaugh could have established that Clinton had a sexual relationship with Lewinsky and lied about it without letting the world know that Clinton thought the cigar in Lewinsky’s vagina tasted good.
No doubt, the Starr report will come up during Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings, in large part because Kavanaugh argued for an impossibly broad range of actions to impeach Clinton on, including having his press secretary lie to the American people. You know, the sort of thing that Sarah Huckabee Sanders does on a daily basis.
But Kavanaugh’s willingness to use sex as a partisan cudgel indicates that he’s happy to conflate his personal morality and the law. That’s not a good sign when it comes to LGBTQ rights.
Although Kavanaugh has no track record on LGBTQ issues, anyone who uses someone else’s sexual activity for nefarious purposes isn’t likely to be much of a friend.