September 26, 2018
Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh was accused on Wednesday by another woman of engaging in Sexual Misconduct at parties while he was a student at Georgetown Preparatory School in the 1980s.
Julie Swetnick Is Third Woman to Accuse Brett Kavanaugh of Sexual Misconduct
The allegation came from Julie Swetnick, 55, who like Judge Kavanaugh, 53, grew up in the Washington suburbs. In a statement posted on Twitter by her lawyer, Ms. Swetnick said she observed the future Supreme Court nominee at parties where women were verbally abused, inappropriately touched, made “disoriented” with alcohol or drugs and “gang raped.”
She said she witnessed Judge Kavanaugh participating in some of the misconduct, including lining up outside a bedroom where “numerous boys” were “waiting for their ‘turn’ with a girl inside the room.” Ms. Swetnick said she was raped at one of the parties, and she believed she had been drugged.
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.
President Trump said on Twitter that Mr. Avenatti was a “third rate lawyer who is good at making false accusations” and suggested he was “just looking for attention.” Mr. Avenatti rose to fame through his representation of Stephanie Clifford, the pornographic film actress known as Stormy Daniels who has taken on Mr. Trump.
The White House issued a statement from the judge describing the allegations as “ridiculous and from the Twilight Zone” and denying that he even knew Ms. Swetnick. “I don’t know who this is and this never happened,” the judge’s statement said.
Unlike two other women who have accused Judge Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, one who went to college with him and another who went to a sister high school, Ms. Swetnick offered no explanation in her statement of how she came to attend the same parties, nor did she identify other people who could verify her account.
Judge Kavanaugh has repeatedly denied allegations that he behaved inappropriately toward women. On Monday, the judge, with his wife at his side, denied on Fox News that he had ever assaulted anyone, saying he had always “treated women with dignity and respect.”
Asked if he had participated in or was aware of any gang rape at a party he attended, he said: “That’s totally false and outrageous. I’ve never done any such thing, known about any such thing.”
Mr. Avenatti had been using his Twitter account for days to promote what he said would be explosive allegations against Judge Kavanaugh. And immediately after he shared what he called a sworn affidavit from Ms. Swetnick, it drew immediate coverage across social media and cable news as another revelation to rock the confirmation process.
In a brief interview, Mr. Avenatti said he had witnesses who could back up Ms. Swetnick’s accounts, but was not ready to present them because he was waiting to see if the Senate Judiciary Committee would begin a full investigation into her claims as he demanded, along with an F.B.I. inquiry. In her statement, Ms. Swetnick said she would be willing to appear before the committee.
Mr. Avenatti also said he was waiting to hear back from the committee before making Ms. Swetnick available for interviews. Asked why Ms. Swetnick would be attending parties with high schoolers during her college years, Mr. Avenatti said that the parties in question included people of both high school and college ages.
In recent days, Judge Kavanaugh and Mr. Trump, who nominated him in July, have been pushing back against the allegations relating to Judge Kavanaugh’s treatment of women. Mr. Trump called the claims a “con game” by Democrats who were “trying to delay and obstruct his confirmation.”
Ms. Swetnick’s allegations come days after Deborah Ramirez, a Yale classmate, told The New Yorker that Judge Kavanaugh exposed himself to her during a drinking game while they were students.
The accusation also comes as Judge Kavanaugh is on the verge of testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee about an allegation made this month by Christine Blasey Ford, who says he sexually assaulted her in high school. Dr. Blasey, who is sometimes known by her married name, Ford, is also expected to testify.
Ms. Swetnick’s claims included Mark Judge, a classmate of Judge Kavanaugh’s. Mr. Judge, who has written about his alcohol-fueled years at Georgetown Prep, had denied the claim made by Dr. Blasey that he was in the room during the alleged incident. Barbara Van Gelder, a lawyer for Mr. Judge, said on Wednesday that he denied the allegations in Ms. Swetnick’s statement.
Ms. Swetnick grew up in Montgomery County, Md., graduating from Gaithersburg High School in 1980 before attending the University of Maryland, according to a résumé posted online. Judge Kavanaugh graduated from Georgetown Prep in 1983.
In her statement, Ms. Swetnick said that she met Judge Kavanaugh and Mr. Judge in 1980 or 1981 when she was introduced to them at a house party in the Washington area. She saw them to be “extremely close friends” who were “consistently” together at social gatherings. She said she attended at least 10 house parties in the Washington area from 1981 to 1983 where the two were present. She said the parties were common, taking place almost every weekend during the school year.
She said she observed Judge Kavanaugh drinking “excessively” at many of the parties and engaging in “abusive and physically aggressive behavior toward girls, including pressing girls against him without their consent, ‘grinding’ against girls, and attempting to remove or shift girls’ clothing to expose private body parts.”
“I also witnessed Brett Kavanaugh behave as a ‘mean drunk’ on many occasions at these parties,” she said.
She said that Judge Kavanaugh, Mr. Judge and others would try to spike the punch at parties in an effort to intoxicate women, who would be targeted and taken advantage of. In 1982, she said, she “became the victim of one of these ‘gang’ or ‘train’ rapes where Mark Judge and Brett Kavanaugh were present.” She said she told at least two people about the alleged episode shortly afterward. “I also witnessed efforts by Mark Judge, Brett Kavanaugh and others 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,” she said in the statement.
In the intervening years, Ms. Swetnick has mostly remained in the Washington area, where she has worked as a web and information technologist. She has had a variety of public- and private-sector jobs over the years, including working for federal government agencies.
According to her résumé and her statement, she has held several government clearances, including with the State Department and the Justice Department.
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