Kavanaugh once said president would likely have to testify before grand jury if subpoenaed: report

Kavanaugh once said president would likely have to testify before grand jury if subpoenaed: report
© Anna Moneymaker

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump to fundraise for 3 Republicans running for open seats: report Trump to nominate former Monsanto exec to top Interior position White House aides hadn’t heard of Trump's new tax cut: report MORE's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh once wrote that presidents should be subject to testify in front of a grand jury if they are subpoenaed to do so.

BuzzFeed News reported Friday that Kavanaugh authored a 1995 memo to Independent Counsel Ken Starr, who led the investigation into former President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonConservatives bankrolled and dominated Kavanaugh confirmation media campaign Sen. Walter Huddleston was a reminder that immigration used to be a bipartisan issue No, civility isn't optional MORE, stating that a president should be treated no differently than any other citizen for the purposes of a subpoena.

"Why should the President be different from anyone else for purposes of responding to a grand jury subpoena ad testificandum?" Kavanaugh wrote in the document obtained by BuzzFeed.


Kavanaugh also considered that a president might be subject to an "implicit exception," given time and security needs, but ultimately said that he found the argument "unpersuasive." 

Kavanaugh's views on executive power and its relationship with a special counsel's investigation have become one of the top issues for senators debating his nomination to the Supreme Court. 

“My colleagues should be a ‘no’ on this nominee unless Judge Kavanaugh specifically commits that he will recuse himself on any issues that involve President Trump’s personal financial dealings or the special counsel,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said last month.

Kavanaugh's own statements, however, seem to indicate that he could side with special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE on the question of whether a sitting U.S. president can be called to testify and ultimately indicted on criminal charges.

Despite his assurances to senators that Mueller's investigation is "appropriate," some Democrats have called on Kavanaugh to recuse himself if a question regarding the special counsel comes before the court.

Multiple Democrats have voiced concern that Kavanaugh would resist Mueller's investigation, which is probing possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

“To avoid the prospect that President Trump could effectively choose a judge in his own case, I request that you pledge to recuse yourself from any cases related to the Special Counsel’s investigation and any that otherwise may immediately impact the President and his associates as it relates to the ongoing criminal investigation should you be confirmed,” Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerOn The Money: Trump to seek new round of tax cuts after midterms | Mnuchin meets with Saudi crown prince | Trump threatens to cut foreign aid over caravan Booker bill would create federally funded savings account for every child Big Dem donors stick to sidelines as 2020 approaches MORE (D-N.J.) wrote in a letter to Kavanaugh last month.

The Senate Judiciary Committee announced Friday that it will hold its confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in early September.