News and Commentary

Kavanaugh’s Third Accuser Gives First Interview

Julie Swetnick, the third woman to accuse Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct from over 35 years ago, is the first of the accusers to give an interview. In a teaser clip for an interview that will air in full on Showtime’s “The Circus” Sunday, Swetnick tells co-host John Heilemann that she believes the behavior she witnessed from Kavanaugh when he was in high school disqualifies him from a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land.

On Wednesday, porn star Stormy Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti, unveiled the Kavanaugh “gang rape train” allegation that he had been teasing since the beginning of the week. He also revealed the identity of the woman making the allegation: Julie Swetnick. In a sworn statement Avenatti tweeted out Wednesday, Swetnick alleges that in the early 1980s, when she was in college, she attended around 10 parties with high schoolers where Kavanaugh and Mark Judge were present and at which vulnerable women were regularly encouraged to get drunk or were drugged so that they might be “gang raped.” She does not allege that Kavanaugh attempted to rape her, but says she was the victim of one of these alleged gang rapes and suggests he participated in others. Kavanaugh has adamantly denied the allegations, which he said were “from The Twilight Zone,” and says he doesn’t know who Swetnick is.

Asked by Heilemann why she’s waited until just one day before Kavanaugh’s hearing on the Christine Blasey Ford allegations to come forward, Swetnick said, “Well, it wasn’t that I wanted to come out just one day before the hearings. Circumstances brought it out that way. This is something that occurred a long time ago, and it’s not that I just thought about it; it’s been on my mind ever since the occurrences.”

“Brett Kavanaugh is going for a seat where he’s going to have that seat on the Supreme Court for the rest of his life,” she told Heilemann, Avenatti standing by her. “And if he’s going to have that seat legitimately, all of these things should be investigated because, from what I experienced firsthand, I don’t think he belongs on the Supreme Court.” (Link to clip below.)

Instead of submitting the serious charges of “gang rapes” to law enforcement, Swetnick and Avenatti sent a statement to the Senate, stressing that Kavanaugh’s hearing should be delayed until the matter could be fully investigated. Swetnick has produced no evidence or witnesses to corroborate her claims. The New York Times reports: “None of Ms. Swetnick’s claims could be independently corroborated by The New York Times, and her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, declined to make her available for an interview.”

A Politico report published later Wednesday raises questions about Swetnick’s credibility. The outlet discovered that an ex-boyfriend of Swetnick filed a restraining order against her in 2001 after she threatened him — threats he said continued even after he got married and had a child. “She’s not credible at all. Not at all,” Richard Vinneccy, a 63-year-old registered Democrat, told Politico. “I have a lot of facts, evidence, that what she’s saying is not true at all.” Vinneccy said that he would speak to an attorney before making any more public statements.

Avenatti responded to Politico’s questions about the restraining order by accusing the outlet of “attacking” a sexual assault victim. “Complete nonsense. No truth to this at all. Her ex-boyfriend fraudulently used her resume to apply for and obtain jobs and was caught by her,” said Avenatti. “Why are you all attacking a sexual assault victim? Would that be appropriate in a court of law? I am disgusted by the fact that the press is attacking a sexual assault victim.”

On Wednesday, The Wall Street Journal provided more details about Swetnick, including that she once used the lawfirm currently representing Christine Blasey Ford for a sexual harassment lawsuit:

Roughly a decade ago, Ms. Swetnick was involved in a dispute with her former employer, New York Life Insurance Co., over a sexual-harassment complaint she filed, according to people familiar with the matter. Representing her in the complaint was the firm run by Debra Katz, the lawyer currently representing Dr. Ford. The company ultimately reached a financial settlement with Ms. Swetnick, the people said.

You can watch the clip of Swetnick’s first interview through the link below: