WASHINGTON – Former independent counsel Ken Starr, author of Contempt: A Memoir of the Clinton Investigation, said he believes Brett Kavanaugh’s denial of the allegations made against him by Christine Blasey Ford.
“I have great confidence in the integrity of Brett Kavanaugh. Character flows out of daily actions and interactions, when one is working alongside a person, as I had the privilege of doing with Bret for a number of years… then watching with admiration of his public career and his very distinguished service as a judge, that record of several decades coupled with the outpouring of support for his integrity from those who knew him these long ago days of high school persuades me that I believe Brett Kavanaugh,” Starr said during an event last week at the American Enterprise Institute.
Kavanaugh worked for Starr in the Office of the Independent Counsel during the ’90s and was a principal author of the Starr Report to Congress.
“Brett Kavanaugh has been absolutely firm in saying it did not happen, not that there may have been some episode in her life, which was very traumatic and was horrible and dignity-denying and the like, but ‘I did not do it,’ so I believe Brett Kavanaugh,” Starr added.
Starr was asked if President Trump should be worried about the plea bargain that the special counsel’s office reached with former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort as a result of the Russian campaign influence investigation.
“As a prosecutor, you want the defendant, the target, the subject, to cooperate with you and you want that target, that subject, that defendant to be truthful with you. I thought the wording of the agreement between Manafort and the special counsel’s office used exactly the right – you are to cooperate fully and truthfully,” Starr said.
“As far as we know, other than the June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower, we’ve seen public reports of Paul Manafort’s participation, which seemed minor, modest and so forth, and the meeting itself seems to be, from what we know, to amount to virtually nothing, certainly nothing criminal, nothing suggesting collusion and collusion as a crime is a very interesting topic in and of itself,” he added.
Starr continued, “I’m seeing it as let’s get to the end of this as soon as possible and in terms of the power of what Paul Manafort may be able to say, I would think Rick Gates, who has already apparently been cooperating – the sentencing has been postponed – that suggested the cooperation is real and continuing, that is a sign of health in the relationship.”
Starr said that special counsel Bob Mueller’s February indictment of 13 Russian nationals for the hacking of organizations such as the Democratic National Committee does not indicate collusion.
“Those indictments read very powerfully about Russia interference and lavishly funded Russian interference,” he said. “What those indictments do not suggest one word of is collusion, conspiracy with the Trump Organization or Trump campaign.”