Third Kavanaugh accuser has history of legal disputes


Associated Press

WASHINGTON

Julie Swetnick, one of the women who has publicly accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, has an extensive history of involvement in legal disputes, including a lawsuit in which an ex-employer accused her of falsifying her college and work history on her job application.

Legal documents from Maryland, Oregon and Florida provide a partial picture of a woman who stepped into the media glare amid the battle over Kavanaugh’s nomination for the nation’s highest court.

Court records reviewed by The Associated Press show Swetnick has been involved in at least six legal cases over the past 25 years. Along with the lawsuit filed by a former employer in November 2000, the cases include a personal injury suit she filed in 1994 against the Washington, D.C., regional transit authority.

Her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, told the AP that court cases involving her have no bearing on the credibility of her claims about Kavanaugh. Avenatti said the suit from her ex-employer – it was dismissed a month after it was filed – was “completely bogus, which is why it was dismissed almost immediately.”

He told AP that he “fully vetted” Swetnick before helping her take her claims against Kavanaugh public.

Avenatti released a sworn statement by Swetnick this past week in which she says she witnessed Kavanaugh “consistently engage in excessive drinking and inappropriate contact of a sexual nature with women in the early 1980s.” In the statement, which was provided to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Swetnick said she had been sexually assaulted at a party attended by members of Kavanaugh’s social circle, but did not accuse him of assaulting her. Two other women have publicly accused Kavanaugh of sexually abusing them.

One of those women, Christine Blasey Ford, appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday to offer emotional testimony that even Kavanaugh’s most ardent backers, including Trump, said they found credible. Another woman, Deborah Ramirez, has accused Kavanaugh of exposing himself to her during a drunken party when both were students at Yale University. Swetnick was the third named Kavanaugh accuser to emerge, when Avenatti released details of her accusations on Twitter on the eve of Ford’s testimony.

Kavanaugh has denied the claims regarding him made by Swetnick and other women, characterizing some of the allegations as a “joke” and a “farce.”

In other developments FBI agents on Sunday interviewed one of the three women who have accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct as Republicans and Democrats quarreled over whether the bureau would have enough time and freedom to conduct a thorough investigation before a high-stakes vote on his nomination to the nation’s highest court.

The White House insisted it was not “micromanaging” the new one-week review of Kavanaugh’s background but some Democratic lawmakers claimed the White House was keeping investigators from interviewing certain witnesses.

And even as the FBI explored the past allegations that have surfaced against Kavanaugh, another Yale classmate came forward to accuse the federal appellate judge of being untruthful in his testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee about the extent of his drinking in college.

In speaking to FBI agents, Deborah Ramirez detailed her allegation that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a party in the early 1980s when they were students at Yale University, according to a person familiar with the matter who was not authorized to publicly discuss details of a confidential investigation.

Kavanaugh has denied Ramirez’s allegation.

In a statement released Sunday, a Yale classmate of Kavanaugh’s said he is “deeply troubled by what has been a blatant mischaracterization by Brett himself of his drinking at Yale.” Charles “Chad” Ludington, who now teaches at North Carolina State University, said he was friend of Kavanaugh’s at Yale and that Kavanaugh was “a frequent drinker, and a heavy drinker.”

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