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Bob Woodward talked out of exposing Brett Kavanaugh as anonymous source by Washington Post editor: report

Bob Woodward was prepared to unmask Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughFor Thanksgiving, the Supreme Court upholds religious liberty COVID-19: Justice Alito overstepped judicial boundaries Defusing the judicial confirmation process MORE during his contentious Supreme Court confirmation hearings as an anonymous source for a book the Watergate icon wrote more than 20 years ago but was talked out of it by the Washington Post's top editor, The New York Times reported on Monday.

Woodward was reportedly set to expose Kavanaugh as an anonymous source for his 1999 book "Shadow: Five Presidents and the Legacy of Watergate." At the time the book was being written, Kavanaugh served as a lawyer on independent counsel Ken Starr's team in its investigation of President Clinton.

The revelation would have publicly contradicted what Kavanaugh said in a letter to the Post in 1999, the Times noted. 

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Woodward's unmasking of Kavanaugh was set to be published in October 2018, according to the Times, which added that Post executive editor Martin Baron urged Woodward to not burn his source because it would be "bad for Bob" and the newspaper itself if Kavanaugh were exposed.

Woodward's story never ran as a result.

Kavanaugh, who was accused by several women of sexual misconduct dating back to his high school and college days in the '80s, was confirmed by the Senate after the politically charged hearings in a 50-48 Senate vote primarily along party lines.

Woodward will release a second book about the Trump administration on Sept. 15, just seven weeks before the 2020 presidential election, according to publisher Simon & Schuster. The new book will include interviews with President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump alludes to possible 2024 run in White House remarks Trump threatens to veto defense bill over tech liability shield Tiger King's attorney believes they're close to getting pardon from Trump MORE, who didn't participate in Woodward's previous book on the administration, "Fear: Trump in the White House," released in 2018.

During his Watergate investigative reporting and for decades after, Woodward, along with Carl BernsteinCarl BernsteinThe Memo: Trump plows ahead with efforts to overturn election Trump calls Carl Bernstein 'total nut job' after CNN analyst's 'homicidal president' charge Carl Bernstein: Woodward's Trump tapes 'smoking gun' of 'homicidal negligence' MORE, steadfastly protected his primary source, known only as "Deep Throat." In 2005, former FBI Deputy Director William Mark Felt publicly confirmed he was the source.