A new Senate committee report questions the credibility of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s three main accusers, dishing out the worst criticism at gang-rape accuser Julie Swetnick.
The 400-page report by the Judiciary Committee’s Republican staff paints a devastating portrait of Ms. Swetnick. She made the most sensational charges of the women accusers and won airtime on national TV. The report depicts her as dangerous, a serial complainer, a liar, mentally unstable and cruel toward her parents.
It turns out that in one of Ms. Swetnick’s previous sexual harassment complaints she was represented by Debra Katz, the Democratic-connected attorney who took the case of Christine Blasey Ford. The Palo Alto, California, psychologist emerged as the first accuser of Justice Kavanaugh, who ultimately won Senate confirmation on Oct. 5 to the Supreme Court.
Ms. Swetnick’s lawyer was Democratic presidential aspirant Michael Avenatti, a favorite of liberal cable TV shows as a fierce President Trump critic.
Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley, Iowa Republican, has sent criminal referrals to the Justice Department accusing Ms. Swetnick and Mr. Avenatti of breaking federal law by submitting false statements.
Mr. Avenatti vouched for a sworn statement from Ms. Swetnick in which she alleged she saw Justice Kavanaugh take part in a gang-rape culture at 10 or more Georgetown Preparatory school parties in the early 1980s. Justice Kavanaugh vehemently denied Ms. Swetnick’s story.
She graduated from Gaithersburg High School in Montgomery County in 1981. Mr. Kavanaugh graduated from Georgetown Prep in 1983. None of his contemporaries in statements to the committee could recall ever knowing or seeing Ms. Swetnick at any high school parties. They denied the parties included punch bowls, spiked or otherwise, as Ms. Swetnick alleged.
“Committee investigators attempted to schedule an interview with Swetnick, but Avenatti refused,” said the committee report, which is stacked with newly disclosed documents.
The report noted that she did appear on MSNBC, where she backtracked off a number incidents she had said she witnessed.
Among the committee’s findings:
- “She has a lengthy history of litigation, including as a plaintiff in a sexual harassment suit in which she was presented by Debra Katz’s firm.”
- “Swetnick was sued for defamation for making apparent false statements and retaliatory allegations against an Oregon company. The company also alleged she engaged in unwelcome sexual innuendo and inappropriate conduct at work.”
- Three former male friends deemed her “not credible” and as an “opportunistic.” One of them, Richard Vinneccy, an ex-boyfriend, submitted a sworn statement. He said she threatened to kill him and his unborn child. She accused him of rape and threatened to have him deported. A fourth former friend called her a “gold digger.”
- “Committee investigators determined that Swetnick was in significant debt.”
- A neighbor who grew up with Ms. Swetnick in Montgomery County described her as “the least credible person you can ever imagine.” This source said her mother “spoke frequently about problems Swetnick was causing for her family. The source said Ms. Swetnick was “always a problem” for her family and was “bleeding them dry financially.” The source quoted the mother as using the term “elder abuse” and said, “Julie’s going to be the death of me.”
- A former employer said Ms. Swetnick was “beyond crazy” and a “serial manipulator” and was often drunk at after-work bar visits.
After he submitted the Swetnick affidavit, Mr. Avenatti released an anonymous declaration from a woman who supposedly backed up his client’s charges.
But in an interview with NBC News, the woman denied she had witnessed any such behaviors, that she did not know Ms. Swetnick in the early 1980s and that Mr. Avenatti “twisted” her words.
“The article thus suggests that Mr. Avenatti likely committed a fraud with a second sword declaration,” the committee report said.
The conclusion: “The Committee found no verifiable evidence to support Swetnick’s allegations. Indeed, the evidence appears to support the position that Julie Swetnick and Mr. Avenatti criminally conspired to make materially false statements to the committee and obstruct the committee’s investigation.”
Mr. Grassley sent a second criminal referral to Justice aimed at Mr. Avenatti after his witness said he “twisted” her words.
The tumultuous Kavanaugh confirmation process saw Democrats convey false charges to the committee.
A Rhode Island man recanted his statement that Mr. Kavanaugh raped a woman on a boat.
Judy Munro-Leighton, a woman who said she accused Mr. Kavanaugh of raping her in the back seat of a car, also recanted. After stating she was the “Jane Doe” accuser in an anonymous statement, she says she wasn’t. It was a “ploy” to “get attention,” she said.
On the Ford allegation, the committee said neither it nor the FBI could find a witness to corroborate her allegations that as17-year-old Justice Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a party. Her best friend at the time, Leland Keyser, was a Ford-recommended witness. But Ms. Keyser said she knew of no such party and has never met Justice Kavanaugh.
A long time Ford friend, former FBI agent Monica McLean, contacted Ms. Keyser to see if she would “clarify” her account. “Committee investigators continue to pursue this lead to determine whether McLean or others tampered with a critical witness,” the report said.
The report said no one could corroborate the story of a third accuser, Deborah Ramirez. She said Mr. Kavanaugh exposed himself during a drunken party at Yale in 1983.
In a memo to all Senate Republicans, Mr. Grassley said, “Committee investigators found no witness who could provide any verifiable evidence to support any of the allegations brought against Justice Kavanaugh. In other words, following the separate and extensive investigations by both the Committee and the FBI, there was no evidence to substantiate any of the claims of sexual assault made against Justice Kavanaugh.”
On Twitter, Mr. Avenatti called Mr. Grassley “incompetent” and his report “ridiculous.”
He directed a tweet at the committee chairman on Monday.
“You were terrible on Fox News tonight. I will agree to appear with you on any TV network you choose to discuss your garbage report and your bogus criminal referral. Let’s debate the issues and let America decide who is telling the truth and who is clueless.”
• Rowan Scarborough can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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