On Sunday, CNN reported that multiple Democrat sources are laying the lion’s share of the blame for the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh at the feet of “porn star lawyer” Michael Avenatti. Apparently those sources forgot that multiple Democratic senators publicly described the salacious and uncorroborated claims of Avenatti’s highly suspect client as “credible.”
In a piece titled “Democrats say Michael Avenatti undercut their case against Kavanaugh,” CNN’s Manu Raju provides some scathing quotes from Democrats about the role Stormy Daniels’ lawyer played in the increasingly “circus”-like confirmation process.
After Ronan Farrow co-wrote a much-maligned report for “The New Yorker” that presented an extremely flimsy claim that Kavanaugh supposedly exposed himself at a college party, which, like Ford’s allegation, was uncorroborated and even refuted by potential witnesses, Avenatti got in on the anti-Kavanaugh action by representing Julie Swetnick, who claimed in a sworn affidavit that while in high school Kavanaugh was a part of a gang-rape ring and regularly drugged girls.
According to Raju, the “eye-popping nature” of Avenatti’s new client “gave Republicans an opportunity to shift the narrative away from Ford’s allegations and make a broader case that the growing accusations of sexual misconduct amounted to an orchestrated Democratic smear campaign” — which, of course, it was, as Susan Collins expertly detailed in her remarkable speech on Friday.
Now, CNN reports, “a host of Democratic senators and senior aides” are condemning Avenatti for mucking up their muckraking campaign against Kavanaugh. Raju reports:
“Well you know at some point there were a lot of folks coming forward making all sorts of accusations,” said Sen. Gary Peters, a Michigan Democrat, when asked about the allegations raised by Avenatti and his client. “It turns it into a circus atmosphere and certainly that’s not where we should be.”
Asked if Avenatti was helpful, Peters said: “I think we should have focused on the serious allegations that certainly appeared very credible to me that would be our best course of action.”
Privately, the assessment was far more scathing.
“Democrats and the country would have been better off if Mr. Avenatti spent his time on his Iowa vanity project rather than meddling in Supreme Court fights,” a senior Senate Democratic aide fumed, referring to Avenatti toying with the idea of seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. “His involvement set us back, absolutely.”
Avenatti responded in his usual way: By bludgeoning his critics, portraying his client as a victim, and presenting himself as the Democratic Party’s last hope to defeat Trump in 2020. “It is outrageous that these so-called Democrats would attack a sexual assault victim from coming forward,” he told CNN. “I guess their position is that she should have shut her mouth and remained silent? It is disgusting that these cowards blame my client and the other accusers from coming forward.”
The glaring problem with Democrats now attempting to blame Avenatti for the failure of their overtly political smear campaign is that multiple Democratic senators included Swetnick’s evidence-less claims among the “three credible allegations” against Kavanaugh.
Byron York provides some quotes that are now coming back to haunt Democrats, including from the three most vocal Senate Democrats during the process:
“We already have three credible reports of sexual misconduct by Judge Kavanaugh,” said Sen. Mazie Hirono, referring to Ford, Ramirez, and Swetnick. Pressing for an FBI investigation, Hirono said it “certainly should cover the three credible reports that have come forward.”
“We now have three credible accusers of sexual assault,” said Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, issued a press release headlined: “Senate Democrats: FBI Must Investigate All Three Credible Allegations of Sexual Assault Against Judge Brett Kavanaugh.” Other Democrats on the committee sent out the same release.