In its report on its findings regarding the sexual misconduct allegations against now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the Senate Judiciary Committee details the evidence that prompted the committee to refer accuser Julie Swetnick and her attorney Michael Avenatti to the Justice Department for review for “potential violations of Senate rules, potential witness tampering, and potential false statements made to the Committee in violation of federal law.”
In the committee’s summary of its findings released November 2, it states that after an exhaustive review — including over 40 interviews and 25 written statements from potential witnesses — it did not find “any evidence to substantiate or corroborate any of the allegations” against Kavanaugh. It did, however, find evidence that some of Kavanaugh’s accusers potentially broke federal law. One of those accusers was Judy Munro-Leighton, who later admitted to having fabricated allegations against Kavanaugh for what she described as an attempt to “get attention.”
“As explained below, I am writing to refer Ms. Judy Munro-Leighton for investigation of potential violations of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1001 (materially false statements) and 1505 (obstruction), for materially false statements she made to the Committee during the course of the Committee’s investigation,” committee chair Sen. Chuck Grassley announced the same day the committee published its report. “Ms. Munro-Leighton confessed to Committee investigators that (1) she ‘just wanted to get attention’; (2) ‘it was a tactic’; and (3) ‘that was just a ploy.”
The committee also referred celebrity attorney Michael Avenatti and his client Julie Swetnick — the so-called “third accuser,” whom several Democrat senators declared a “credible” witness in the height of the Kavanaugh circus — for review.
After presenting summaries of the sworn statements of the witnesses and the evidence the committee reviewed, the committee concludes that it “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.”
“Accordingly, the Committee referred both to the Department of Justice and FBI for investigation and potential violations of 18 U.S.C. § 371, § 1001, and § 1505 on October 25, 2018,” the committee explains. “In addition, on October 26, 2018, the Committee made a second criminal referral against Michael Avenatti to the Justice Department and FBI for investigation of potential violations of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1001 (knowingly providing materially false statements) and 1505 (obstruction of a congressional investigation), based upon the NBC story that evidenced that Mr. Avenatti may have fabricated allegations by a second declarant.”
Below is the committee’s summary of the Swetnick allegations followed by the section presenting the evidence reviewed by the committee:
The Swetnick Allegations
On September 23, 2018, Michael Avenatti tweeted that he was representing a woman with “credible information” regarding Justice Kavanaugh.51 Avenatti revealed his client’s name as Julie Swetnick on September 26.52 He simultaneously posted her declaration, in which she alleged that a teenage Justice Kavanaugh orchestrated gang rapes of inebriated women.53
The Committee staff contacted Avenatti ten minutes after he posted his September 23 tweet. Avenatti responded with a list of questions for Justice Kavanaugh related to the allegations by Swetnick. Although Avenatti alluded to having evidence to support his client’s claims, he refused to produce anything for several days, notwithstanding the Committee’s repeated requests. Ultimately, Avenatti provided the Committee with only a sworn declaration from Swetnick. He posted a redacted declaration from an alleged supporting witness on his Twitter account on October 2 and 3, but he refused to identify the author.54
Committee investigators attempted to schedule an interview with Swetnick, but Avenatti refused. Swetnick, however, did participate in a televised interview with Kate Snow of MSNBC.55 In that interview, Swetnick made several statements that differed from her declaration. For example, although she maintained that she saw Justice Kavanaugh drink heavily and act aggressively toward women, she did not say that she actually saw him spike the punch or wait in a line to take part in gang rapes at the parties, as she asserted to the Committee via her declaration. Despite the fact her signed statement claimed it was based “on personal information,” when challenged by CNN about the inconsistencies, Avenatti later conceded: “One of her friends informed her of what she just put in the declaration or what was attested to in the declaration.”56
Committee investigators interviewed Justice Kavanaugh regarding the allegations on two occasions—first, after Avenatti posted his September 23 tweet, and second, after Avenatti revealed Swetnick’s identity. Justice Kavanaugh categorically denied the allegations during both calls, and stated that he does not even know Swetnick. The Committee also conducted interviews with 11 individuals who knew Justice Kavanaugh or Julie Swetnick during the timeframe of the alleged gang rapes. The Committee also obtained a letter from 64 men and women who knew Justice Kavanaugh well in high school. None of the signers knew Swetnick, and none witnessed any behavior that even approached the conduct described in Swetnick’s declaration.
As Mr. Avenatti refused to provide additional information or witnesses, or make Ms. Swetnick available for an interview, Committee investigators attempted to investigate her claims. Committee investigators searched for information about Swetnick to assess her credibility. Committee investigators examined public sources for information on Swetnick’s background and readily determined that she has a lengthy history of litigation, including as a plaintiff in a sexual-harassment suit in which she was represented by Debra Katz’s firm, the same Debra Katz who represented Dr. Ford.57 Committee investigators learned that 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. Committee investigators also received additional information from another individual, [REDACTED], who had frequent contact with Swetnick at local bars in the D.C. area. These men separately and independently described Swetnick as not credible and stated that she had never mentioned the name “Brett Kavanaugh” or any of the alleged sexual misconduct described in her affidavit. Another man, [REDACTED], said Swetnick never mentioned to him being raped or the name Brett Kavanaugh. Some witnesses described her as “opportunistic” and Committee investigators determined that Swetnick was in significant debt. Her ex-boyfriend also sought a restraining order against her after she threatened to kill him and his unborn child.
In its interviews sections, which contains several redacted names, the committee notes that witnesses described her as a “gold digger,” “the least credible person you can ever imagine,” “beyond crazy,” a “serial manipulator,” and a constant “problem” for her parents.
Below is the evidence reviewed section (which generally summarizes the separate interviews section, not included below):
Evidence Reviewed Related to Swetnick’s Allegations
• Declaration of Julie Swetnick (dated Sept. 25): Swetnick alleged that she attended house parties with Justice Kavanaugh and Mark Judge during 1981 to 1983. She stated that the two men spiked the punch at high school parties with alcohol or drugs in order to take advantage of women. She also asserted that Judge and Justice Kavanaugh lined up to take part in the gang rape of inebriated women.58
• Declaration of Mark Judge (dated Sept. 28): Judge categorically denied Swetnick’s allegations and stated that he does not know her. He said that he did not spike punch to get anyone drunk, nor did he witness Justice Kavanaugh engaging in that conduct. He also said that he never engaged in the gang rape of any woman.59
• Declaration of Anonymous Witness (dated Oct. 2): Michael Avenatti sent the Committee a redacted declaration from an unidentified witness who claimed to know Mark Judge and Justice Kavanaugh. The witness asserted that he or she attended house parties with Judge and Justice Kavanaugh and observed Justice Kavanaugh spike punch, drink excessively, and become sexually aggressive with women.60
• Letter from Michael Fegan (dated Oct. 1): Fegan was Justice Kavanaugh’s classmate at Georgetown Prep. He stated that he and Justice Kavanaugh did not know any girls from Swetnick’s high school, and that the parties they attended never had punch drinks, hard liquor, or drugs. He said that he would have reported any sexual misconduct to police.61
• Letter from High School Friends of Justice Kavanaugh (dated Sept. 26): Sixty-four men and women who knew Justice Kavanaugh in high school wrote to the Committee to say that none of them ever recalled meeting Swetnick. They asserted that they never witnessed Justice Kavanaugh engage in any of the conduct alleged by Swetnick, and they described him as “a man of honor, integrity, and compassion.”62
• Text messages between Dennis Ketterer and [REDACTED] (dated Sept. 27): A Facebook Messenger conversation provided to Committee investigators by Ketterer showed a conversation he had with a friend where he was notified of the existence of Twitter messages that mentioned an individual who knew Julie Swetnick and had a negative opinion of her. One of those messages was from an individual Committee investigators later interviewed, and that message mentioned that Swetnick was known to have suffered from mental problems.63
· MSNBC Interview (Oct. 2): Swetnick took part in a televised interview on MSNBC. During the interview, she walked back several of the claims in her declaration. Instead of saying she saw Justice Kavanaugh spike the punch, she said she saw him “near” the punch bowl at the house parties. She also refused to go so far as to accuse of him taking part in gang rape. She instead said that she saw him huddle with other boys outside closed rooms, but she admitted that she did not know what occurred inside.64
· NBC News article (Oct. 25): Mr. Avenatti submitted an anonymous declaration on October 2, 2018, purporting to corroborate allegations raised by Julie Swetnick. However, according to this news report, the declarant denied making the key allegations, saying that Avenatti “twisted [her] words.”65 The article thus suggests that Mr. Avenatti likely committed a fraud with a second sworn declaration.
· Declaration of Dennis Ketterer (dated Oct. 2) Ketterer stated that he and Swetnick met at a bar in 1993 and maintained a physical relationship. He said that Swetnick never mentioned being the victim of sexual assault or rape and that she never mentioned Brett Kavanaugh “in any capacity.” According to Ketterer, Swetnick’s father warned him that Swetnick had “psychological and other problems.” Ketterer also noted that Swetnick said she enjoyed having group sex with more than one man at a time and that her first experience was in high school.66
· Declaration of Richard Vinneccy (dated Oct. 4) Vinneccy stated that he was involved in a romantic relationship with Swetnick for seven years. While they were dating, she never mentioned being raped or attending any parties where she witnessed sordid sexual activities. Vinneccy characterized Swetnick as financially unstable and said she “always wanted to be the center of attention and exaggerated everything in her life.” Vinneccy asserted that Swetnick stalked him for almost two months after their breakup and that she threatened to kill him and his unborn child, accuse him of rape, or have him deported. He informed the Committee that although he sought a restraining order against Swetnick, he ultimately decided not to pursue it when he learned he would have to confront Swetnick in court.67
Below is the full text of the conclusions section:
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. Accordingly, the Committee referred both to the Department of Justice and FBI for investigation and potential violations of 18 U.S.C. § 371, § 1001, and § 1505 on October 25, 2018. In addition, on October 26, 2018, the Committee made a second criminal referral against Michael Avenatti to the Justice Department and FBI for investigation of potential violations of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1001 (knowingly providing materially false statements) and 1505 (obstruction of a congressional investigation), based upon the NBC story that evidenced that Mr. Avenatti may have fabricated allegations by a second declarant.68