Columnist

Frankly, I don’t know what to make of the allegation that Brett Kavanaugh assaulted a 15-year-old girl when he was 17 and drunk. If he was drunk, is that an extenuating circumstance? Should something done at age 17 disqualify anyone from a seat on the Supreme Court? Should it matter that the alleged assault took place in the early 1980s? Not only has the statute of limitations expired, but so possibly has memory itself.

To deal with these questions, I have adopted the mantra of Kavanaugh and other members of Ken Starr’s team back when they were seeking to rid the country of the pheromone-addled Bill Clinton. Whenever they were accused of having a dirty mind, of being obsessed with sex, they would respond with indignant denials. It was not sex that obsessed them, but the laws of God and man: Clinton had lied under oath.

Yes, indeed, he had. But he had lied about sex, as had Monica Lewinsky. No matter, no matter, we were all told. A lie is a lie is a lie. I was not then, and I am not now convinced of that proposition, but if it is true, then it applies as well to Kavanaugh. Never mind if 17 is too young to hold someone accountable for an alleged crime. And never mind, either, if being drunk also has to be taken into account. We can get to those questions later. What matters at the moment is whether Kavanaugh is telling the truth when he insists that the alleged crime never occurred. He is adamant about that. It’s not that he can’t remember. It’s not that he was drunk and his memory is blurry. It didn’t happen.

“I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation,” he said. “I did not do this back in high school or at any time.”

The he-said/she-said aspect of this situation will clearly require further investigation. The alleged incident took place at a house party — parents away, of course — so there had to be others there. They must be questioned. Maybe they told others at the time. The purported victim, Christine Blasey Ford, said she had a polygraph administered to prove she is telling the truth. The government’s own experts have to look at that, maybe have it done again. There’s no rush — unless it is to confirm Kavanaugh before the midterm elections. That, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) no doubt agrees, would be unseemly.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has already announced that he will not vote for Kavanaugh, saying he misled the Senate on a different matter. The blood is already in the water, and now there is a further question. As Kavanaugh can readily appreciate, it’s not about sex — it’s about lying.

Ask Ken Starr.