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Judiciary chairman refers Swetnick, Avenatti to Justice Department

Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley on Thursday referred Julie Swetnick and her lawyer Michael Avenatti...

Posted: Oct 25, 2018 10:12 PM
Updated: Oct 25, 2018 10:12 PM

Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley on Thursday referred Julie Swetnick and her lawyer Michael Avenatti to the Department of Justice for a possible criminal investigation over allegations they made false statements to Congress about now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

"I am writing to refer Mr. Michael Avenatti and Ms. Julie Swetnick for investigation," Grassley wrote in a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director Christopher A. Wray, for potential "materially false statements they made to the Committee during the course of the Committee's investigation. "

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In a statement, Grassley said, "When a well-meaning citizen comes forward with information relevant to the committee's work, I take it seriously. It takes courage to come forward, especially with allegations of sexual misconduct or personal trauma. I'm grateful for those who find that courage."

Grassley continued, "But in the heat of partisan moments, some do try to knowingly mislead the committee. That's unfair to my colleagues, the nominees and others providing information who are seeking the truth."

Avenatti, a potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, told CNN that the referral is "completely baseless and political."

"I look forward to a thorough investigation into Judge Kavanaugh," Avenatti said. "We have all waited long enough."

Avenatti also tweeted criticism aimed at the Iowa Republican senator.

"It is ironic that Senator Grassley now is interested in investigations," Avenatti wrote. "He didn't care when it came to putting a man on the SCOTUS for life. We welcome the investigation as now we can finally get to the bottom of Judge Kavanaugh's lies and conduct. Let the truth be known."

Swetnick's statement, which was submitted to the committee last month, alleges that Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge were present at a party where Swetnick was drugged and "gang raped." In the statement, Swetnick did not identify either man as her attacker in the incident. Both men categorically denied the allegations.

In the 12-page letter, Grassley said that Swetnick's allegations "materially affected" the committee's investigation and that Kavanaugh "under penalty of a felony" categorically denied the allegations.

Grassley said that Swetnick had contradicted her own allegations in an interview with NBC, and that the committee spoke with "45 individuals, obtained 25 written statements and reviewed numerous other materials" but could not find "any information to corroborate Ms. Swetnick's claims."

"I ask that the FBI investigate whether Mr. Avenatti criminally conspired with Ms. Swetnick to make materially false statements to the Committee," Grassley wrote.

Kavanaugh's attorney, Beth Wilkinson, told CNN's Wolf Blitzer when the allegations arose that her client never met Swetnick.

"He has never met this woman, he doesn't know Ms. Swetnick, he didn't go to parties with her," Wilkinson said.

Wilkinson said that she had received calls from women and men who went to high school with him and they also didn't remember Swetnick.

According to the declaration, Swetnick said that if she were ever "called to testify" about the statements in the declaration she would do so.

On September 29, Grassley referred charges to the Department of Justice and the FBI regarding another person who contacted Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse and his committee staff reporting an allegation of sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh.

This story has been updated.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 248189

Reported Deaths: 5411
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto16841171
Hinds15890312
Harrison13037191
Rankin10439205
Jackson10128177
Lee8721135
Madison8071160
Jones6166108
Forrest5870117
Lauderdale5724177
Lowndes5238109
Lafayette486192
Lamar475363
Washington4734122
Bolivar3941106
Oktibbeha388179
Panola360475
Pontotoc358752
Monroe3487103
Warren337895
Union337457
Marshall336065
Neshoba3325150
Pearl River319492
Leflore2980104
Lincoln293385
Sunflower277569
Tate266659
Alcorn260651
Itawamba258858
Pike258176
Hancock253557
Prentiss242450
Scott241043
Yazoo237754
Copiah237449
Tippah236246
Simpson232367
Leake227864
Coahoma223154
Grenada215770
Covington208871
Marion206171
Adams201666
Winston198061
George197438
Wayne196130
Attala191658
Newton186542
Chickasaw181243
Tishomingo179659
Holmes167867
Jasper165134
Clay156732
Stone140218
Tallahatchie138234
Clarke136460
Calhoun133321
Smith118823
Yalobusha113834
Walthall111136
Noxubee109622
Greene108929
Montgomery108134
Carroll103721
Lawrence101217
Perry99131
Amite96425
Webster90624
Claiborne85125
Tunica84521
Jefferson Davis83825
Humphreys81524
Benton80323
Kemper75720
Quitman6758
Franklin65315
Choctaw59613
Wilkinson58125
Jefferson53019
Sharkey42417
Issaquena1586
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 417528

Reported Deaths: 6030
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson61313888
Mobile29768542
Madison26637185
Tuscaloosa20580268
Montgomery18696304
Shelby18310113
Baldwin16002179
Lee12261101
Morgan12093112
Etowah11604157
Calhoun10982200
Marshall10108107
Houston8474129
Cullman7960104
Limestone790174
Elmore7723101
DeKalb764697
St. Clair7460120
Lauderdale745183
Talladega6102108
Walker5852174
Jackson574441
Blount526483
Colbert525670
Autauga510355
Coffee434256
Dale391081
Franklin363445
Chilton333565
Covington326167
Russell323810
Escambia312442
Dallas300296
Clarke278233
Chambers277869
Tallapoosa2599107
Pike245829
Marion240549
Lawrence240447
Winston223835
Bibb213047
Geneva197431
Marengo197329
Pickens195231
Hale173742
Barbour171236
Butler167958
Fayette166026
Cherokee159630
Henry151119
Monroe144417
Randolph138535
Washington136526
Clay125246
Crenshaw118044
Lamar116619
Cleburne116023
Macon113335
Lowndes108735
Wilcox101221
Bullock98128
Perry95419
Conecuh92920
Sumter88726
Greene75323
Coosa60414
Choctaw51224
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