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Bench Memos

NRO’s home for judicial news and analysis.

Kavanaugh’s No Leaker



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Having worked with Brett Kavanaugh daily in the White House for two years, I can assure you he’s no leaker. During our two years, I don’t believe there was a single leak–of anything–out of the Counsel’s Office. That’s pretty remarkable given the intense public interest in many of the things that were going on during the aftermath of 9/11 and the torrent of press calls that came in. And of course dealings with the press and even leaks are typically much more common and much more accepted in a place like the White House than in a prosecutor’s office.

Brett is the soul of discretion who is, if anything, allergic to press contact. His attitude has always been that the best, safest, and most honorable course for a public servant in the executive branch is simply to avoid press contact and leave it to the communications professionals to worry about press coverage. I would be absolutely amazed if he ever leaked a thing while working for Starr or anyone else.

I think this all got started not by the groups but by a careless suggestion in the press. There was an item (I believe in the Legal Times) earlier this week that made some reference to leak allegations against Brett. Prior to that I had heard nothing about this. I suspect it’s all just a silly game of telephone. The problem with Brett from the Left’s perspective is guilt by association with Ken Starr and President Bush. It’s as simple as that. There’s nothing in his own record or service that realistically would justify any concern on their part. They just believe that, given the company he keeps, he must be bad, bad, bad. In their eyes, there’s not much room for an honest, honorable, principled, and conscientious conservative (could it be they think that description is a contradiction in terms?) in the Whitewater investigation or the Bush Administration. Note, though, that many of the Clinton-side lawyers who dealt with Starr’s office during the investigation will tell you that, from their perspective, he was always one of the prosecutors who could be counted on to be fair and straightforward.



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