Grassley refers Avinatti and his client to DOJ for investigation of 'materially false claims' made to Senate panel
Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley asked the Justice Department Thursday to investigate anti-Trump lawyer Michael Avenatti and his client Julie Swetnick, saying they likely fed senators “materially false” information by accusing Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh of involvement in gang rapes.Avinatti has had a bad week. In addition to allegedly owing millions to the IRS, He was kicked out of his law office and told to pay millions to his former associates. This DOJ referral will add to his woes. The Swetnick complaint sounded preposterous on its face and I am not aware of any witnesses who supported her claims.
Mr. Grassley suggested Mr. Avenatti invented clients to try to embarrass Justice Kavanaugh, and the senator said Ms. Swetnick — the only client who did come forward — gave multiple versions of her story.
The Iowa Republican, long an advocate for whistleblowers, said he welcomed “well-meaning” complaints from citizens.
SEE ALSO: Sen. Grassley's letter to the Justice Dept.
“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,” he said.
Ms. Swetnick, in a sworn statement provided by Mr. Avenatti to the committee, laid out a host of allegations that Justice Kavanaugh and a school chum were complicit in multiple gang rapes of girls during high school parties in the 1980s.
In an interview with MSNBC, though, Ms. Swetnick backed off some of those claims and gave a different version of events, saying she only suspected Justice Kavanaugh may have been involved because he was near a punch bowl.
Mr. Grassley said in his letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director Christopher A. Wray that it’s doubtful Ms. Swetnick even knew Justice Kavanaugh, since they went to different schools with different social circles, and Kavanaugh friends came forward to say they didn’t remember ever encountering Ms. Swetnick.