Politics

Ken Starr Harbors ‘Deepest Concerns’ About ‘Fairness,’ Timing of Kavanaugh Allegations

Former independent counsel says he trusts Supreme Court nominee, urges GOP senators to 'stand firm'

Image Credit: Screenshot, CNN

Former independent counsel Kenneth Starr harbors “the deepest concerns with the fairness of the process” after a woman publicly leveled sexual assault allegations against Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh “so late” in his Supreme Court confirmation process.

“I have the deepest concerns with the fairness of the process. I don’t hear anyone talking about ‘Why did this come forward so late?'” Starr, whose investigation led to former President Bill Clinton’s impeachment in 1998, spoke Monday morning on “The Laura Ingraham Show.”

“Why was it sat on? It’s as if it doesn’t matter.”

“And, you know, fairness is such an important part for the process — for the country. It’s not just for Judge Kavanaugh. Certainly, this is unfair to him. But it’s the fairness to the process for the country,” Starr added.

Related: Christie Defends Kavanaugh, Says Allegations ‘Extraordinarily Unfair’ to Nominee

President Donald Trump nominated Kavanaugh to replace the outgoing Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy in July. The Senate Committee on the Judiciary was scheduled to vote on his nomination Thursday, with the full Senate voting shortly thereafter.

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But Christine Blasey Ford, a psychology professor at Palo Alto University in northern California, stunned the nation when she came forward publicly with her allegations against Kavanaugh through an article Sunday in The Washington Post.

Ford claims Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were teens during a party some 35 years ago.

Ford initially accused the judge anonymously in July when she detailed her allegations to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) through her congressional representative, Anna G. Eshoo (D-Calif.).

Feinstein has faced criticism for her decision not to air Ford’s anonymous allegations until so late in the traditional Senate confirmation process.

Kavanaugh “categorically and unequivocally” denied Ford’s anonymous allegations against him and released an additional statement on Monday after she came forward, calling it “a completely false allegation.”

“I have never done anything like what the accuser describes — to her or to anyone,” Kavanaugh said, adding that he had no idea who made the accusation “until she identified herself yesterday.”

Starr, who has known Kavanaugh since 1994 and worked with him on the Clinton impeachment report, said, “What I do know is that Brett Kavanaugh is a person of total integrity, and he’s denied it. That’s good enough for me.”

“It’s so remote and it’s so out of character for Brett. But here’s the key for me — Brett denies it. He does not say … ‘I don’t recall, not that I recall,'” Starr added. “And that was what Hillary [Clinton] did all the time, and even Bill Clinton at times, even though he had a better memory.”

“It’s so easy to make charges. So I don’t want to get into the merits of this other than to say Brett Kavanaugh has … decades of exemplary service,” Starr said.

Although the Senate Judiciary Committee is still scheduled to vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination Thursday, senators are demanding to hear testimony from both Ford and Kavanaugh before proceeding.

“And see what his women law clerks said about him? And that no longer apparently matters to some folks who are just determined for him to be stopped on any basis whatsoever, including a very strange 11th-hour basis.”

Some of Kavanaugh’s former female law clerks came forward to defend his character after the allegations surfaced.

Although the Senate Judiciary Committee is still scheduled to vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination Thursday, senators are demanding to hear testimony from both Ford and Kavanaugh before proceeding.

Both Ford and Kavanaugh expressed their willingness to testify.

As for GOP senators who want to delay Kavanaugh’s confirmation process indefinitely, Starr offered them some pointed advice.

“I would say stand firm. Let [Ford] come forward, and hear her story,” Starr said. “But I would say stay the course. It’s simply too late” in the process, he added.

Related: Christie Defends Kavanaugh, Dubs Allegations ‘Extraordinarily Unfair’

“I’m a process guy. And process is very important to the orderly operations of government,” Starr noted. “But the Senate is sitting in judgment, and there comes a point when you say, ‘Hey, statute of limitations or the record is closed.’ There are devices to say, ‘We can’t just allow this process to be run totally amok.'”

“I think there is a profound injustice here to the process, quite apart to Judge Kavanaugh and his family,” he added. “I just hope that wise and cool heads will prevail.”

Starr also told Hill.TV’s Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton during the show “Rising” on Monday, “I don’t know how to say anything about Brett Kavanaugh other than I love this person.”

“I’ve worked alongside him — this is so wildly out of character, and I love that so many young women who had gone to high school with Brett [Kavanaugh] came forward and attested to his character,” Starr added.

“So I trust Brett Kavanaugh, and he has emphatically denied the charges.”

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