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 TrumpSenators given no timeline on removal of National Guard, Capitol fence Democratic fury with GOP explodes in House Georgia secretary of state withholds support for 'reactionary' GOP voting bills 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 ClintonMellman: White working-class politics Judge rejects Biden request for delay in Trump environmental rollback case Considering impeachment's future 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 (Bob) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump 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 BookerCongressional Black Caucus unveils '100 Day Plan' Menendez reintroduces corporate diversity bill Democrats want businesses to help get LGBT bill across finish line 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.