Bill Clinton has blasted Brett Kavanaugh for his role in investigating the death of Vince Foster, the Clintonista who came to Washington as deputy White House counsel and ended up taking his own life. Clinton launched his attack on Sunday in Las Vegas during an event billed as “An Evening with the Clintons.”
Clinton took the position that Kavanaugh deserved to be hit with unsubstantiated allegations of sexual assault because of Kavanaugh’s role in the Foster investigation. The former president said that Kavanaugh “didn’t have any problem making us put up with three years of Vince Foster nonsense that was a total charade.”
Gee, if I could be sure that Clinton would drop the elder statesman facade and indulge in this sort of self pity, I might pay $1,000 (or whatever) to spend an evening with him. Nah.
Clinton has no legitimate beef with Kavanaugh over the Foster investigation. First, it was Ken Starr, the independent counsel, who decided to pursue this matter. Starr did so because the air was rife with conspiracy theories about Foster’s death and, as Quin Hillyer points out, the work of Starr’s predecessor hadn’t put the conspiracy theories to rest.
Starr’s decision was a good one. In any event, it was Starr’s, not Kavanaugh’s. And it was Starr who ordered Kavanaugh to “leave no stone unturned.”
Second, as Hillyer argues, Clinton should be grateful for Kavanaugh’s work on the Foster matter. The exhaustive nature of the work performed by Kavanaugh and John Bates (now an anti-Trump federal judge) put the conspiracy theories largely to rest.
The Clintons should also be grateful that Starr excluded from his report the fact that, just before Foster committed suicide, Hillary Clinton publicly humiliated him, thus quite possibly triggering the suicide. I wrote about this here.
I’ve heard it suggested that the last minute allegations of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh were the Clintons’ revenge for the nominee’s role in Starr’s investigations. I don’t buy it. That circus was about keeping a conservative nominee off the court, not about the 1990s. The Clintons, though, did make a run at keeping Kavanaugh off the D.C. Circuit. Hillary, then a Senator, blocked him for quite some time in an attempt at revenge.
However, I’m pretty sure the Clintons have no beef with Kavanaugh over the Foster part of the independent counsel’s investigation. The Clintons’ grudge is based on the Lewinski probe in which Kavanaugh also participated.
Understandably, Bill Clinton doesn’t want to talk about the Lewinsky portion of the Starr investigation. It’s way too embarrassing. Thus, he comes down on Kavanaugh over the Foster investigation, which concerned matters for which Bill wasn’t culpable and as to which he can play the victim a bit more plausibly.
It’s a clever move. Bill Clinton is a clever bitter old man.