The spotlight on Brett Kavanaugh has shed some sudden light on the elite rape culture inside Washington; but it's not just the Republicans who've kept it going by slandering its victims. In any case, here's a detailed story about Swetnick's claims, and, below that, David Talbot's cogent posts on the Ford hearings. MCM
- The lawyer Michael Avenatti on Wednesday identified another accuser of Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh, Washington resident Julie Swetnick.
- Swetnick, in an affidavit posted online by Avenatti, claims that Kavanaugh, as a high school student in the early 1980s, with others spiked the drinks of girls at house parties with grain alcohol and/or drugs to “cause girls to lose inhibitions and their ability to say ‘No.’ “
- Swetnick said these efforts by Kavanaugh and his buddy Mark Judge were done so the girls “could then be ‘gang raped’ in a side room or bedroom by a ‘train’ of numerous boys.” She said “I became the victim” of one such rape “where Mark Judge and Brett Kavanaugh were present.”
A third accuser of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Wednesday publicly identified herself and alleged that Kavanaugh and others while in high school spiked the drinks of girls at parties with intoxicants to make it easier for them to be gang raped.
The woman, Julie Swetnick, said Kavanaugh was in line with other boys, including his close friend Mark Judge, waiting to rape those girls at many parties, and that she once became a victim herself. The allegations were detailed in an affidavit released by her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, and signed under penalty of perjury.
Swetnick’s stunning claims, made on the eve of scheduled testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee by Kavanaugh and his first accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, came in an affidavit sent to a senior committe staffer. Ford claims Kavanuagh held her down on a bed and groped her during a gathering in the 1980s while Judge watched.
Swetnick’s accusations against Kavanaugh, who currently serves as a federal appeals judge in Washington, D.C., could make an already imperiled nomination to the Supreme Court even less likely to succeed.
Kavanaugh said, in a statement about Swetnick: “This is ridiculous and from the Twilight Zone.”
“I don’t know who this is and this never happened,” Kavanaugh said. He had told Fox News earlier this week that “I’ve never sexually assaulted anyone.”
In a letter to Judiciary Committee leaders made public after Swetnick’s claims came to light, Kavanaugh vowed not to withdraw his nomination.
Butr Avenatti, during an interview on MSNBC, said, “There should be an immediate investigation” of Swetnick’s claims against Kavanaugh, ” and there should be no rush to confirm him to the U.S. Supreme Court.”
“The allegations in this declaration are shocking,” Avenatti said.
In addition to Swetnick and Ford, another woman, Kavanaugh’s Yale University classmate Deborah Ramirez, has accused him of exposing himself to her and causing her to touch his penis at a boozy dorm party.
President Donald Trump blasted the claims in a tweet insulted Avenatti by calling a “a third rate lawyer who is good at making false accusations like he did on me and like he is now doing on Judge Brett Kavanaugh.”
Trump’s press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told CNBC the White House “stands with Kavanugh.”
Judge’s lawyer Barbara Van Gelder said, “Mr. Judge vehemently denies the allegations contained in the Swetnick affidavit.”
The 55-year-old certified systems engineer Swetnick, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNBC, identified herself as a resident of Washington, D.C.
A 1980 graduate of Gaithersburg High School in Gaithersburg, Maryland, she said she has has held multiple work clearances for work done at the Treasury Department, U.S. Mint, IRS, State Department and Justice Department, among others.
Swetnick, in the affidavit posted on Twitter by Avenatti, claims that she saw Kavanaugh, as a high school student in Maryland in the early 1980s, “drink excessively at many” house parties in suburban Maryland. At the time, Kavanaugh and Judge were students at the the private Catholic school Georgetown Prep.
She said he and Judge engaged in “abusive and physically agressive behavior toward girls,” which “included the fondling and groping of girls without their consent” and “not taking ‘No’ for an answer.”
During the years of 1981 and 1982 she said she learned of efforts by Kavanaugh, his friend Judge and others “to spike the drinks of girls at house parties I attended with grain alcohol and/or drugs so as to cause girls to lose inhibitions and their ability to say ‘No.’ ”
Certain girls were targeted by those boys, and “it was usually a girl that was especially vulnerable because she was alone at the party or shy,” Swetnick claimed.
Swetnick said these efforts by Kavanaugh and his buddy Judge were done so the girls “could then be ‘gang raped’ in a side room or bedroom by a ‘train’ of numerous boys.”
“I have a firm recollection of seeing boys lined up outside rooms at many of these parties waiting for their ‘turn’ with a girl inside the room. These boys included Mark Judge and Brett Kavanaugh,” Swetnick said.
She also said in her affidavit sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee that in approximately 1982 “I became the victim of one of these ‘gang’ or ‘train’ rapes where Mark Judge and Brett Kavanaugh were present.”
“Shortly after the incident, I shared what had transpired with at least two other people,” Swetnick said.
“During the incident, I was incapacitated without my consent and unable to fight off the boys raping me, I believe I was drugged using Quaaludes or something similar placed in what I was drinking.”
She says that she shared the story of her own alleged gang rape with “at least two other people” shortly after it occurred.
Avenatti told MSNBC that “My client has been issued a number of security clearances by the federal government over the years. She has been fully vetted time and time again, and she is an honest and courageous woman.”
“And I’m going to caution Donald trump, Brett Kavanagh, Chairman Grassley and others, if they try to come after my client or engage in some smear campaign, they better pack a lunch because we’re going to respond two-fold,” Avenatti said. “We are going to respond double as it relates to force. So they better be very careful before they start spewing nonsense and trying to call my client a liar.”
A spokesman for Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, in response to the affidavit, said, “This morning Michael Avenatti provided a declaration to the Judiciary Committee. Committee lawyers are in the process of reviewing it now.”
Ranking Judiciary Committee Democratic member Dianne Feinstein of California did not immediately respond to CNBC’s requests for comment.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, said he believed Kavanaugh’s nomination should withdrawn.
If not, Schumer said, the Republican majority in the Senate should “immediately suspend the proceedings related to Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination, and the president must order the FBI to reopen the background check investigation.”
“There are now multiple, corroborated allegations against Judge Kavanaugh, made under penalty of perjury, all of which deserve a thorough investigation,” Schumer said.
Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington, told MSNBC that she had read Swetnick’s claims, “and it is horrifying.”
“It is important to note that it is an affidavit and she has signed it under perjury or law. So people don’t do this randomly. It needs to be investigated, absolutely,” Murray said. “I believe that there are responsible Republicans who are going to share the view that it is not just a supreme court nominee that is on trial right now. It is the United States Senate.”
Avenatti had for several days said he had a client, until now unnamed, who had been aware of gang rapes connected to Kavanaugh.
Before he took Swetnick’s case, Avenatti already was well known as the attorney for Stormy Daniels, the porn star who says she had sexual with President Donald Trump in 2006, in the months after his wife Melania gave birth to their son.
Daniels was paid $130,000 in hush money by Trump’s then-personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, on shortly before the 2016 presidential election that sent Trump to the White House.
Cohen last month pleaded guilty to tax crimes and to violating campaign finance law with the payment to Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford. Cohen during his plea hearing told a judge that he paid Daniels at the behest of Trump for the purpose of affecting the presidential election.
Trump, who has admitted reimbursing Cohen, has not been charged in the case.
Avenatti has said he is exploring a run for the presidency himself in 2020.
Download Swetnick’s affidavit or read it here:
David Talbot and 3 others shared a link.
What a Grand Old Party! One of the most enlightening aspects of the Kavanaugh culture war is how it’s exposing the ugly inner reality of the GOP. This is a party ruled at the top by smug, entitled, prep school-bred men like Brett Kavanaugh; funded by shady oil and gambling oligarchs; and powered at the ground level by crazy “Christians,” white supremacists and misogynists who feel compelled to control women’s bodies. What a coalition of humanity!
For yet another disgusting inside look at the Kavanaugh prep school world, where he and buddies like Mark Judge strutted around like young lords, boozing and preying on girls, read today’s front-page article in the NY Times about how young Kavanaugh and a number of his Georgetown Prep football teammates targeted an unsuspecting teenage girl at a nearby Catholic girls’ school. In the 1983 Georgetown Prep yearbook, Kavanaugh and at least a dozen other classmates bragged about being “Renate Alumni,” a not-too-veiled nudge-nudge boast that they’d each sexually enjoyed the teenage girl, Renate Schroeder.
Sadly, the target of the Georgetown Prep cabal – now known as Renate Schroeder Dolphin – was unaware of how she was being sexually ridiculed by Kavanaugh and his pack until recently when the NY Times informed her. Before being contacted by a Times reporter, Dolphin even joined more than 60 other women who signed a letter attesting to the judge’s high character and claiming he has always “treated women with respect.” But Dolphin obviously sees Kavanaugh differently now. She has released this statement to the Times:
“I learned about these yearbook pages only a few days ago. I don’t know what ‘Renate Alumnus’ actually means. I can’t begin to comprehend what goes through the minds of 17-year-old boys who write such things, but the insinuation is horrible, hurtful and simply untrue. I pray their daughters are never treated this way. I will have no further comment.”
In their eagerness to shore up Kavanaugh’s sinking nomination, many GOP dignitaries have brushed off his youthful behavior as “boys will be boys.” But I too went to an all-boys’ prep school – and while I certainly knew young men there who could’ve happily run with Kavanaugh’s wolf pack, most would be as repulsed by their behavior as Sean Hagan, the Georgetown Prep schoolmate of Kavanaugh quoted in the Times article.
“They were very disrespectful, at least verbally, with Renate,” Hagan told the Times, referring to Kavanaugh and his teammates. “I can’t express how disgusted I am with them, then and now.”
I have complete faith in Christine Blasey Ford to stand up to the Republican inquisition on Thursday. But how strongly will Senate Democrats have the brave woman’s back? We know how the Republican majority on the Judiciary Committee is already stacking the deck against her. They refuse to allow the FBI to conduct an independent investigation. They refuse to subpoena Kavanaugh’s high school drinking buddy and accused accomplice, Mark Judge (whom the Washington Post tracked down, hiding out in a Delaware beach house). They’re too cowardly to interrogate Ford themselves — knowing that will call to mind the same committee’s gang assault on Anita Hill. So Sen. Chuck Grassley and his old boys club have hired a woman prosecutor to do their dirty work. Her name is Rachel Mitchell, and guess where she has long worked? In the DA’s office in Arizona’s notorious Maricopa County, where Trump-pardoned Sheriff Joe Arpaio ruled as the law-breaking lawman.
Finally, to complete the whole kangaroo court picture, Grassley & Co. refuse to even speak with Kavanaugh’s second accuser, Deborah Ramirez, breaking repeated appointments to converse with her aghast attorney John Clune, who can’t believe the partisan stonewalling.
In the face of this naked Republican aggression and obvious effort to steamroll the Kavanaugh vote, will the Democrats stand up and fight? The Republicans have already boxed in their Democratic opponents, limiting each Democratic Senator to only FIVE minutes of questions. Meanwhile, on the Republican side, hired gun Mitchell will have a whopping 55 minutes to grill Ford.
So here are my hardball suggestions for the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee, who frankly have been pretty absent from the media fray in recent days. Where the hell are they — resting up for their big day on camera? The ten Democrats on the Judiciary Committee should huddle before the hearing and pick their two or three toughest interrogators to take over the questioning, such as former prosecutor Sen. Kamala Harris and Hawaii’s aggressive Sen. Mazie Hirono. Not every member of the Democratic caucus on the committee has to have his or her grandstanding moment in the spotlight. It’s all about pinning down the slippery Kavanaugh, not getting your five minutes on camera.
And if the GOP old boys club continues to block Deborah Ramirez and other Kavanaugh accusers from testifying, the Democrats must immediately hold separate hearings to give the women a chance to air their charges.
This is not Senate business as usual. The fate of the country is at stake. Senate Democrats must go above and beyond the call of duty to derail the Kavanaugh nomination. History will be judging each member of the Judiciary Committee this week.