Political News

Report on Starr investigation leaks doesn't mention Brett Kavanaugh by name

Posted August 23, 2018 5:24 p.m. EDT

— A newly unsealed report on leaks to the media during the Ken Starr investigation into President Bill Clinton shows no mention of Brett Kavanaugh -- then a Starr staffer and now President Donald Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court -- by name.

The National Archives has released the previously sealed 1999 report by Special Master John Kern on his investigation into allegations that Starr's office leaked grand jury secrets during the Whitewater investigation.

Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats and American Oversight, a government disclosure advocacy group, had sought the release of the report believing it could shed light on Kavanaugh's activities during the Starr investigation and whether he had been involved in the leaks. Kavanaugh was one of the lawyers working on Starr's team. A federal judge ordered the report released this week.

The special master concluded Starr's office was not involved in the leaks of 24 specific news stories on the investigation. "The Special Master concludes that OIC has rebutted the prima facie showing that it was the source of the disclosures," the report reads.

A search of the 64-page document found no mention of Kavanaugh by name.

Kavanaugh, currently a federal appellate judge on the DC Circuit, has told the Judiciary Committee that his past contact with news reporters -- both as a quoted and as an anonymous source -- was "appropriate or as directed."

The White House said the report was another dead end for Kavanaugh's critics.

"This report refutes the latest false accusation by Senate Democrats and fully exonerates Judge Kavanaugh," said White House spokesman Raj Shah. "Between crowdsourcing baseball fans to attacking his college sports commentary, the left has lost all credibility and is looking more desperate by the day."

Kavanaugh's nomination hearing is scheduled for Sept. 4. Democrats have called for a delay, saying a complete record of the nominee's work for Starr and later at the George W. Bush White House has not been made available.