Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has referred one of Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s accusers and her attorney to the Department of Justice for a criminal investigation into whether the pair conspired to lie to Congress and obstruct an investigation.
Julie Swetnick, through her attorney, Michael Avenatti, accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct that allegedly took place in the 1980s. Avenatti publicized the accusation while Grassley’s committee was investigating an accusation by another accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, as part of the hearings to confirm Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
Swetnick’s allegation, detailed in a sworn statement to the committee, included “obvious” contradictions and was released at a suspicious time, necessitating an investigation by the FBI, according to Grassley.
“When a well-meaning citizen comes forward with information relevant to the committee’s work, I take it seriously,” Grassley said in a statement. “But in the heat of partisan moments, some do try to knowingly mislead the committee. That’s unfair to my colleagues, the nominees and others providing information who are seeking the truth. It stifles our ability to work on legitimate lines of inquiry. It also wastes time and resources for destructive reasons.”
Grassley noted that his referral is not an allegation of a crime.
The senator’s referral is detailed in a 29-page letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director Christopher Wray. The letter details issues with Swetnick’s allegations and subsequent contradictions by both the accuser and her lawyer.
“It is ironic that Senator Grassley now is interested in investigations,” Avenatti, who is also the lawyer for pornographic performer Stormy Daniels, wrote on Twitter.
“He didn’t care when it came to putting a man on the [Supreme Court] for life. We welcome the investigation as now we can finally get to the bottom of Judge Kavanaugh’s lies and conduct. Let the truth be known.”
Grassley’s letter outlines the steps the committee took immediately after learning that Avenatti posted a Twitter message alleging to have evidence incriminating Kavanaugh and his friend, Mark Judge. The letter notes that Swetnick is a former client of the law firm of Debra Katz, the attorney for Ford.
Swetnick’s sworn statement included an inconsistency with Avenatti’s early claim about the location of the alleged events, Grassley noted. While Avenatti alleged misconduct at parties in Washington, Swetnick’s statement included an allegation of misconduct at a party during “Beach Week” in Maryland, in addition to Washington.
“Notably, Ms. Swetnick submitted her statement broadening the area of the alleged incidents from Washington, D.C., to Ocean City, Maryland, only after the Committee publicly released Judge Kavanaugh’s 1982 calendar which included a notation for Beach Week during the week of June 6-12,” Grassley wrote.
Kavanaugh, in a sworn interview with the committee, denied all of Swetnick’s allegations, which remain unsubstantiated and unverified. The Epoch Times couldn’t verify any of the claims and refrains from publishing the details.
Grassley pointed out four major contradictions between Swetnick’s sworn statement and her statements in a subsequent television interview.
The letter also points to the lack of credible evidence that Kavanaugh and Swetnick ever knew each other. Kavanaugh and Judge both told the committee under penalty of perjury that they don’t know Swetnick. A letter by 64 men and women who knew Kavanaugh in high school noted, “In the extensive amount of time we collectively spent with Brett, we do not recall having ever met someone named Julie Swetnick.”
The only evidence that Kavanaugh and Swetnick knew each other was produced belatedly by Avenatti in the form of a statement from an anonymous source. Neither the committee nor the media could track down the source for an interview.
“Indeed, it is unclear who actually wrote the anonymous declaration,” Grassley wrote. “Mr. Avenatti also apparently has a history of claiming to have anonymous clients who never materialize in any verifiable form.”
Grassley’s referral also details several issues with Swetnick’s credibility. A former boyfriend told the committee that after he ended his seven-year relationship with Swetnick, she stalked and harassed him. Upon learning that the ex-boyfriend was dating another woman, Swetnick threatened to kill him, his girlfriend, and their unborn child. She also said she would falsely accuse him of rape and have him deported.
The Senate confirmed Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court on Oct. 6. None of the allegations against Kavanaugh were found to be substantiated. President Donald Trump personally apologized to Kavanaugh and his family for the treatment they received during the confirmation hearings.