As a Yale Law graduate in his early 30s, Judge Kavanaugh was one of the primary authors of Mr. Starr’s report to Congress, which said Mr. Clinton had lied under oath and concealed evidence of his relationship with an intern, Monica Lewinsky.
The report laid out 11 possible grounds for impeachment, two of which are drawing scrutiny in the context of the investigation by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, who is looking into whether Trump associates aided Russia’s interference in the 2016 election — in an investigation that has been expanded to include whether the president tried to obstruct the inquiry itself.
First, the Starr report said that Mr. Clinton lied to his aides about his relationship with Ms. Lewinsky, “knowing that they would relay those falsehoods to the grand jury.” Second, it said he lied to the American public, and that senior officials, including the press secretary, then relied on those denials in their own misleading public statements.
“The president’s emphatic denial to the American people was false,” the prosecutors wrote. “And his statement was not an impromptu comment in the heat of a news conference. To the contrary, it was an intentional and calculated falsehood to deceive the Congress and the American people.”
By that standard, Mr. Trump’s misleading statements to the news media, his miasma of tweets and his protracted public debate over whether to speak with Mr. Mueller could all be used against him, even if the special counsel declines to accuse the president of obstruction of justice.
The Starr report faulted Mr. Clinton for refusing six invitations to testify before a grand jury, saying the refusals substantially delayed the investigation. Mr. Trump has been debating for months whether to accept Mr. Mueller’s invitation to give an interview, and his lawyers have argued against it. Under the standard set by the Starr report, Congress should consider that as potential grounds for impeachment.
Mr. Trump also personally dictated a misleading statement to The New York Times about a secret meeting that his son arranged with a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower during the 2016 presidential campaign. Mr. Trump’s lawyers and the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, then repeatedly and falsely denied that Mr. Trump dictated the statement.