WASHINGTON – A third accuser has come forward to accuse Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh with sexual misconduct.
The woman is represented by a lawyer named Michael Avenatti who represents Stormie Daniels, the porn actress who's accusing President Trump of paying her to keep silent. This new Kavanaugh accuser, Julie Swetnick, says she saw him "consistently engage in excessive drinking and inappropriate contact of a sexual nature with women in the early 1980s." She claims that he and others drugged girls to take advantage of them, but her claims have not been corroborated.
After Swetnick's claim came out, Kavanaugh said he doesn't know who she is, saying the new allegations are from the 'Twilight Zone,' and 'never happened.'
It's a tense week in Washington as Kavanaugh prepares to defend himself against allegations of sexual misconduct in a highly anticipated Senate hearing on Thursday. Kavanaugh's prepared testimony for that Senate hearing denies "sexual or physical encounter of any kind" with his first accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.
US Capitol Police arrested dozens protesting in Senate buildings – and angry demonstrators even harassed Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and his wife at a DC restaurant.
BREAKING. Activists just chased @TedCruz out of a fancy Washington DC restaurant, chanting "We Believe Survivors!"
Cruz has been friends with creep Kavanaugh for 20 years. Now Cruz is on judiciary committee hearing his testimony.
— Smash Racism DC (@SmashRacismDC) September 25, 2018
Protests picked up after a second allegation emerged. Deborah Ramirez claims Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a drunken party in college, even though she had trouble remembering if it actually was Kavanaugh.
Sen. John Thune (R-SD) tells CBN News he questions her motives and wonders why she's only taking her claims to committee Democrats and leaving Republicans in the dark.
"To me, these are clearly attempts, and frankly attempts by the Democrats that I think they ought to in many cases be ashamed of, to try at the 11th hour to destroy the reputation of an individual based upon, I would argue pretty flimsy evidence," Thune said.
While the White House indicated they're open to hearing from Ramirez on Thursday – along with Ford, Kavanaugh's first accuser – Ramirez' lawyer told CNN she only wants to provide information to the Senate through an investigation from the FBI.
Some senators question if Ramirez should appear before the committee. Thune said, "I can't see at this point where there is any evidence to suggest that she oughta come before, I mean if she herself has said that she's trying to search her memory to remember exactly what happened."
Republicans hired experienced sex crimes prosecutor Rachel Mitchell to question Dr. Ford and Kavanaugh on Thursday. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) says he hopes both are treated with respect during the hearing and he's displeased with how the Democrats have handled the allegations.
"Dr. Ford's allegations should have been brought forth earlier so they could be handled in a confidential and a respectful sort of way to the normal background investigation – that happens all the time," Cornyn said. "Unfortunately, we've seen that the norms and the rules by which nominations are considered have pretty much been thrown out the window, and it's kind of scorched earth tactics."
Cornyn says he worries about the lasting effects this nomination will have on future judicial nominees.
"I'm hopeful that after this experience people can see the benefit of returning to a more civil, dignified way of considering the nominations," he said. "If we want to continue to recruit good people to hold these very important positions, it's important we not expose their families to death threats."
Democratic Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) blasted Republicans for labeling the accusations as a smear campaign and again called for FBI intervention. "If you want the truth, you ask for an FBI investigation. If you're afraid of the truth, you avoid an FBI background investigation," he said.
Republicans are eager to move the process along, planning the Judiciary Committee vote for Friday. The full Senate could vote on Kavanaugh's nomination early next week.