During his time working with Kenneth Starr, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh pushed right-wing conspiracy theories surrounding the Clintons, including that Hillary Clinton might have had an affair with Vince Foster — the former White House counsel that conspiracy theorists think the Clintons had murdered.
Princeton Professor of History Sean Wilentz recently had the opportunity to look over many of Kavanaugh’s papers which are currently housed in the National Archives. Wilentz was moved to dig into those records after the publication of a memoir by Kenneth Starr–Kavanaugh’s one-time supervisor during the independent counsel investigation into Bill Clinton.
During his research, Wilentz discovered that Kavanaugh prompted his then-boss to reopen the long-since discredited investigation into the alleged murder of former White House counsel Vince Foster. Two previous, Republican-led investigations had thoroughly looked into the matter and came to same conclusion; Foster, plagued by a lifetime of clinical depression, had tragically committed suicide.
Nevertheless, Kavanaugh pursued the angle, and though he reportedly came to the conclusion that nothing untoward had transpired between Foster and the Clintons, he kept after it anyway.
Indeed, Kavanaugh’s Office of the Independent Counsel files contain links to six massive (3-500 page-plus) document folders related to the Foster investigation alone.
One focus of this umpteenth investigation centered around a specific and licentious conspiracy theory that Hillary Clinton and Vince Foster had previously engaged–or at the time of Foster’s death were engaged–in a secret, sexual relationship. In a conversation with Law&Crime, Professor Wilentz noted:
[Kavanaugh] seems to have been in charge of it. Obviously, there were others involved. He was not the only one by any means. But the very fact that he was most interested in getting the Foster case reopened speaks to his bending over backwards to investigate nutty right-wing conspiracy theories. He was the man.
Wilentz also noted that Kavanaugh’s continued investigation into the matter “gave the hard right official license to continuing smearing the Clintons for three more years.”
This unsupported but tawdry affair had long made the rounds of the right-wing rumor mills. Apparently by way of Kavanaugh’s intervention, the rumors seem to have made their way into the broader public consciousness, ultimately leading Foster’s surviving family to beg and plead with Starr’s office to stop its “outrageous innuendo and speculation for political ends.”