Everything You Need to Know About the Kavanaugh Hearing and the Latest Accusations
All eyes will be on Dr. Christine Blasey Ford at tomorrow’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing regarding accusations that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh pinned her down and attacked her during a high school a party 35 years ago. Over the past week, two more accusers have come forward.
On Sunday, Ford agreed to testify before the committee after a week-long back and forth between her attorneys, Debra S. Katz, Lisa J. Banks, Michael R. Bromwich and the committee to schedule the hearing. That night, The New Yorker published a story a story naming Deborah Ramirez, a Yale classmate of Kavanaugh’s in the early 1980s, who claimed he exposed himself to her while she was inebriated. However, The New York Times interviewed several dozen people to corroborate Ramirez’s claim and could find no one who substantiated her accusations against Kavanaugh.
Kavanaugh, who gave his first interview since the accusations Monday to Fox New’s Martha McCallum, said, “I’ve never sexually assaulted anyone.”
Thursday’s hearing will take place in a small room in the Dirksen Senate office building at 10 a.m EDT. Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA) will give an opening statement followed by ranking committee member, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). Ford will testify first, followed by Kavanaugh. Democratic senators will have five minutes of questioning for both Ford and Kavanaugh. To handle questioning on the Republican side, GOP members of the committee hired Arizona sex crimes prosecutor, Rachel Mitchell.
Abt 20 of my cmte investigators are tracking down all allegations/leads & talking to all witnesses & gathering all evidence. We have experienced fed agents on detail from ATF+ICE along w seasoned congressional investigators from my nominations & oversight teams +temp SCOTUS staff
— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) September 26, 2018
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, told reporters Tuesday that the committee hired Mitchell to ask questions in a “respectful and professional way.”
There is no reason to delay the hearing any further
Feinstein called for the hearings to be delayed after the New Yorker article was released, however, Senator Grassley said there was no need for the delay. In a letter to Feinstein, Grassley wrote, “I am not going to silence Dr. Ford after I promised and assured her that I would provide her a safe, comfortable, and dignified opportunity to testify … There is no reason to delay the hearing any further.”
Third Accuser Comes Forward–Represented by Stormy Daniels’ Attorney
On Wednesday, Michael Avenatti, who is also the attorney for adult film star, Stephanie Clifford (also known as Stormy Daniels) identified Kavanaugh’s third accuser, Julie Swetnick. Swetnick claimed in a statement, “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. These boys included Mark Judge and Brett Kavanaugh.”
Swetnick says she was victim to “one of these ‘gang’ or ‘train’ rapes,” however, she did not say that Kavanaugh or Judge had sexually assaulted her.
Kavanaugh has vehemently denied all accusations and Judge sent a statement through his attorney Barbara Van Gelder saying, “I have no memory of this alleged incident. Brett Kavanaugh and I were friends in high school but I do not recall the party described in Dr. Ford’s letter. More to the point, I never saw Brett act in the manner Dr. Ford describes.”
Kavanaugh also issued a statement that Swetnick’s claims are false saying, “This is ridiculous and from the Twilight Zone. I don’t know who this is and this never happened.” Kavanaugh also turned over all of his high school calendars – colored green-on-white – to the committee to review. The calendars were first given to USA Today and CNN on Wednesday.
Swetnick’s claims have left the Judiciary Committee scrambling to gather information with only hours left to prepare for Ford’s Thursday testimony, according to congressional sources.
Here is a picture of my client Julie Swetnick. She is courageous, brave and honest. We ask that her privacy and that of her family be respected. pic.twitter.com/auuSeHm5s0
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) September 26, 2018
Below is my correspondence to Mr. Davis of moments ago, together with a sworn declaration from my client. We demand an immediate FBI investigation into the allegations. Under no circumstances should Brett Kavanaugh be confirmed absent a full and complete investigation. pic.twitter.com/QHbHBbbfbE
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) September 26, 2018
On Wednesday, Avenatti who appeared on The View did not answer if Swetnick had been sexually assaulted by Kavanaugh. Swetnick noted that Kavanaugh was present when she was ‘gang raped.’
“Did he do anything to this particular woman, Julie Swetnick, or is she alleging that she has just seen him be aggressive with other women?” asked co-host Sunny Hostin.
Avenatti replied “Well I think the allegations, Sunny, if you read further in the declaration, are far more specific relating to Brett Kavanaugh’s conduct, including the attempts to drug women by placing grain alcohol or drugs in the punch at these parties. Many of these women ended up gang raped, unfortunately. The details in this declaration are specific, they are shocking, but above all else they are true. My client stands behind them 100 percent and she’s looking forward to having the opportunity to meet with one or more FBI agents hopefully and describe what happened. And she’s also prepared to testify if she’s permitted to do so to the U.S. Senate.”