US Politics

US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh faces new sexual misconduct accusation

The latest accuser says Kavanaugh took part in efforts during high school to get girls intoxicated so that a group of boys could have sex with them; Kavanaugh attacks a new accuser’s claims as ‘ridiculous and from the Twilight Zone’

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 27 September, 2018, 2:09am
UPDATED : Thursday, 27 September, 2018, 5:33am

The US Senate Judiciary Committee plans to proceed with a hearing on Thursday into a sexual misconduct allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who attacked a new accuser’s claims as “ridiculous and from the Twilight Zone”.

The new accuser said Kavanaugh took part in efforts during high school to get girls intoxicated so that a group of boys could have sex with them.

Julie Swetnick, of Washington, is the third woman to come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh.

“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,” Swetnick, 55, said in a sworn affidavit released by her lawyer, Michael Avenatti. “These boys included Mark Judge and Brett Kavanaugh,” she added. Judge was a high school classmate of Kavanaugh.

The affidavit, signed under penalty of perjury, was sent to a senior staff member on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

US President Donald Trump said on Twitter that Avenatti “is 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. He is just looking for attention and doesn’t want people to look at his past record and relationships – a total low-life!”

Avenatti also represents Stephanie Clifford, the adult film star known as Stormy Daniels who says she had an affair with Trump before he was elected president.

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The judiciary panel’s Republican chairman, Senator Chuck Grassley, said the hearing would go forward. He is bringing in a female prosecutor from Arizona with experience prosecuting sex crimes, Rachel Mitchell, to handle the questioning. All of the Republican members of the committee are men.

Republicans have been hoping to win confirmation for Kavanaugh by early next week.

Kavanaugh rejected the latest claim Wednesday. He said in a statement released by the White House, “I don’t know who this is and this never happened.”

Swetnick said in the sworn affidavit that she saw Kavanaugh, Judge and others seek to cause girls “to become inebriated and disoriented so they could then be ‘gang raped’ in a side room or bedroom by a ‘train’ of numerous boys”.

Swetnick said she was a victim of one of those assaults in the early 1980s and that Kavanaugh and Judge had been present, though she did not say whether they had sex with her. “I believe I was drugged using Quaaludes or something similar placed in what I was drinking,” she said in the statement.

Kavanaugh’s claim during a Fox News interview Monday that he was a virgin until “many years” after high school was “absolutely false and a lie,” Swetnick said. She added, “I witnessed Brett Kavanaugh consistently engage in excessive drinking and inappropriate contact of a sexual nature with women during the early 1980s.”

“I also witnessed Brett Kavanaugh behave as a ‘mean drunk’ on many occasions at these parties,” Swetnick said.

With wife by his side, embattled Kavanaugh declares he was a virgin for years

In a statement to the Judiciary Committee, Kavanaugh called allegations against him by the initial accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, as “last-minute smears” and “grotesque and obvious character assassination”. Ford, a California college professor, says Kavanaugh held her down and tried to take her clothes off when they were in high school.

“I categorically and unequivocally deny the allegation against me by Dr Ford,” Kavanaugh said in the statement. “I have never done that to her or to anyone. I am innocent of this charge.”

“Such grotesque and obvious character assassination – if allowed to succeed – will dissuade competent and good people of all political persuasions from serving our country,” Kavanaugh, Trump’s second high court nominee, said in a statement released ahead of Thursday’s planned judiciary committee hearing.

Kavanaugh’s statement made no reference to Swetnick’s accusations or an allegation by another woman, Deborah Ramirez, a classmate of Kavanaugh’s at Yale University, who said he exposed himself to her at a drunken college party.

The hearing is scheduled for 10am on Thursday in Washington.

Trump backs Kavanaugh after new allegation of sexual misconduct

“Tomorrow is very, very important,” Grassley said. Referring to Ford, he said, “I feel like I have a definite responsibility to hold the hearing not only for her but for Judge Kavanaugh.”

Regarding the new allegation, he said, “we have had accusation after accusation after accusation”. Grassley added, “Obviously with this one we have a contact and our lawyers are on it right now.”