WASHINGTON — The Senate Judiciary Committee is reviewing allegations by a third woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, a panel spokesman said Wednesday, in yet another potential blow to his prospects for Senate confirmation.
As in the allegations by his two previous accusers, the latest incident is alleged to have occurred decades ago. In a three-page sworn declaration, Julie Swetnick of Washington, D.C., says she witnessed Kavanaugh “consistently engage in excessive drinking and inappropriate contact of a sexual nature with women in the early 1980s.” Her attorney, Michael Avenatti, posted the declaration on Twitter and provided it to the committee.
Kavanaugh denied her allegation as he has the others. Trump tweeted that Avenatti was a “third-rate lawyer” pushing “false accusations.”
The new development came a day before President Donald Trump's nominee and his first accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, are to testify to the Judiciary Committee in what looms as a critical moment in the 51-year-old conservative jurist's quest to join the high court. As of now, Republicans controlling that panel have announced no plans to focus Thursday's session on the claims of the two other women.
Kavanaugh released a statement denying the new charges.
“This is ridiculous and from the Twilight Zone. I don't know who this is and this never happened,” Kavanaugh said.
The committee also released a two-page prepared statement from Kavanaugh for Thursday's hearing in which he “categorically and unequivocably” denies Ford's allegation. She has said he forced her into a room at a high school party, held her on a bed and tried removing her clothes as he muffled her mouth with his hands. Ford says she eventually escaped.
Kavanaugh's written testimony for the committee went a bit further than the description of his youthful behavior he gave in a Fox News Channel interview Monday, when he said “people” may have drunk too much at high school parties.
“I drank beer with my friends, usually on weekends. Sometimes I had too many. In retrospect, I said and did things in high school that make me cringe now,” Kavanaugh said.
Swetnick also made other accusations in her statement. The AP has not been able to corroborate them, and continues to investigate.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Avenatti said he would not provide additional details about Swetnick's allegation, saying they want to see an FBI investigation. He said they expect to release additional names and evidence in “coming weeks.”
Avenatti also represents Stormy Daniels, who alleges she was paid to keep a sexual relationship with Trump quiet. The publicity-friendly attorney has said he's considering competing for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
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