Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz called on lawyer Michael Avenatti to provide proof of the salacious accusations of “gang rape” against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, “or else face consequences.”
In an op-ed published by The Hill this weekend, Dershowitz said that Avenatti, the celebrity lawyer of porn star Stormy Daniels, “whose judgments have proved questionable so many times,” may in fact be right to ask for a thorough investigation of his newest client’s “outrageous claims of multiple gang rapes” witnessed and participated in by Kavanaugh when he was in high school.
“These claims, typical of Avenatti, seem so incredible on their face that even partisan Democratic senators have generally stayed away from them,” writes Dershowitz. “Yet, if they are true, they are not only disqualifying for Judge Kavanaugh to become an associate justice of the Supreme Court, but they should result in criminal prosecutions of anyone and everyone who allegedly drugged young girls and subjected them to systematic gang rape on multiple occasions.”
Dershowitz underscores that the “deeply flawed” affidavit that Avenatti’s client, Julie Swetnick, submitted to the Senate is “so filled with gaps that it would be easy for any experienced cross-examiner to raise doubts about the credibility of the affiant.”
“One critical question is why this young woman would repeatedly return to parties where she claims to have witnessed gang rapes of drugged women,” he writes. “Yet, since the charges are so serious, further investigation is warranted.”
Dershowitz argues for such an investigation, but calls for “one condition” that should be imposed:
The accuser should have to waive her lawyer-client privilege with Avenatti so that investigators can determine how much of her affidavit and how many of her claims were originally her own, and how many, if any, may have been “improved upon” by her conversations with her highly partisan lawyer or others.
If she is telling the truth, she should have no reason for not waiving the privilege. If she is lying, then there is no privilege anyway, since the crime-fraud exception would take it outside of the privilege. She should be asked how she got in contact with Avenatti, who first introduced the term “gang rape” into the conversation, and whether she intended the information she conveyed to Avenatti to be made public.
Both Avenatti and his client should be questioned by the FBI as well as by Senate investigators. If Avenatti wants the truth to come out, let him place no barriers to fair inquiry.
Dershowitz lays out the options for Avenatti: let her appear on television to try the case in the court of public opinion, or demand an investigation by local authorities, because Maryland has no statue of limitations on the kinds of rape Swetnick describes.
“The current situation is untenable — for Kavanaugh, for his accusers, and for the American public. An accusation as serious as gang rape simply cannot be allowed to sit out there uninvestigated,” he writes. “Kavanaugh and his accuser are both entitled to a full investigation. If the investigation establishes that the accusations are true, there should be serious consequences for Kavanaugh. But if the investigation proves that the allegations are made up of whole cloth, or if Avenatti did not properly investigate them before making so serious an accusation, there should be consequences for both Avenatti and his client.”