Top Supreme Court Candidate Authored Report on Impeachment that Would Implicate Trump
One of the people reported to be a frontrunner for President Donald Trump's nomination to be a justice on the Supreme Court once argued for a very expansive justification for impeachment.
As the New York Times' Mark Landler and Matt Apuzzo explained Thursday night, the arguments he made could likely justify Trump's own impeachment.
Judge Brett Kavanaugh made the arguments as a part of independent counsel Ken Starr's report on the investigation into President Bill Clinton's misconduct in the '90s. When Starr issued his final report on the investigation to Congress recommending impeachment, Kavanaugh was one of the authors.
Among other justifications for impeachment, the report cited Clinton's deliberate lies to his own staff and to the American people as a part of an effort to obstruct justice. It also raised Clinton's refusal to testify before a grand jury as potential grounds for impeachment.
Since Trump has similarly avoided testifying before special counsel Robert Mueller, and demonstrably lied to or misled that public and his staff at various points throughout the ongoing Russia investigation, the arguments Kavanaugh helped draft could be used against the president who may appoint him to the Supreme Court.
By the standard put forth in the Starr report, Landler and Apuzzo write,
Mr. Trump’s misleading statements to the news media, his miasma of tweets and his protracted public debate over whether to speak with Mr. Mueller could all be used against him, even if the special counsel declines to accuse the president of obstruction of justice.
The reporters note, however, that Kavanaugh did not necessarily agree with a report that he helped draft. He has also since repudiated the Clinton investigation, concluding that such probes of sitting president are detrimental to the country. Nevertheless, if chosen, Democrats will certainly bring up the issue at his confirmation hearings, a guaranteed embarrassment for the president and his party.