President Bill Clinton’s former personal lawyer is endorsing Judge Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court, arguing that the judge would be a “strong advocate for decency and civility.”
“Brett is the most qualified person any Republican President could possibly have nominated,” Clinton’s former lawyer Robert Bennett wrote in a letter Tuesday to Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley and the top Democrat on the committee Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
The two men crossed paths when Kavanaugh was part of independent counsel Ken Starr’s team that was investigating Clinton, and Bennett was Clinton’s personal lawyer in the Paula Jones sexual harassment lawsuit in the mid-1990s, which “hardly seems like the winning recipe for a close friendship,” Bennett wrote.
“Much like politics, litigation often brings out people’s worst tribal instincts, and the temptation to view your opponent as a villain can be especially overwhelming when the stakes are high,” Bennett wrote. “Despite being on opposite sides of the Starr investigation, however, Brett and I managed to avoid falling prey to that trap.”
He added that their friendship was in large part Kavanaugh’s doing, saying that the 53-year-old appellate judge possesses “an innate sense of fairness and civility that has governed his relationships with allies and adversaries equally.”
“Brett’s integrity quickly won me over, and we became close friends despite our differences (and the differences between the Presidents we served),” Bennett wrote, referring to Kavanaugh’s time in the George W. Bush administration.
He praised Kavanaugh as “an unusually balanced questioner” and a “‘judge’s judge,’ someone doing his absolute best to follow the law rather than his policy preferences.”
Fox News was the first to report on Bennett’s letter.
Kavanaugh, Trump’s second nominee to the nation’s high court, will begin his Senate confirmation hearings on September 4.
CNN’s Lauren Fox contributed to this report.