September 6, 2018

Of the reported four people on the SCOTUS nomination shortlist, there was one name that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell warned Donald Trump against nominating: Brett Kavanaugh. His paper trail was vast and frankly, damning. McConnell knew that it would be a contentious and not-at-all assured confirmation process.

Naturally, as oppositional and self-interested as Trump is, he discarded McConnell's advice and nominated Kavanaugh. So he gets what he reaps.

Kavanaugh seems to be the Republican Party's Zelig, appearing in the background at every momentous turn and violation of norms that the Republican Party has steadily pursued in the name of power.

His writing as part of Ken Starr's impeachment team against President Bill Clinton shows a man determined--facts be damned--to find something, ANYTHING, to hang around the neck of the Democratic politician. Even if it meant going down the Breitbartian rabbit hole of Vince Foster conspiracy theories AFTER the investigation had concluded that Foster, who had suffered from depression, killed himself:

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 confidante of President Trump, but at the time on the payroll of the right-wing tycoon Richard Mellon Scaife to promote conspiracies.

Seriously, Steve Bannon couldn't have picked a more perfect candidate to sit for life on the highest court.

And like his plan to ask lurid questions of Bill Clinton regarding his sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky, Kavanaugh dug deep.

[H]e 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 Foster’s bereft, blonde, 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.

There is no way this man belongs on the Supreme Court. He barely qualified to be legal counsel for Breitbart or Daily Caller.

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