A Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee has referred one of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s accusers to the Justice Department, claiming she and her lawyer possibly made false statements to Congress about Justice Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearings.
According to a statement by the Senate Judiciary Committee, Chairman Chuck Grassley referred “3rd accuser” Julie Swetnick and attorney Michael Avenatti to the DOJ for an criminal investigation relating to “a potential conspiracy to provide materially false statements to Congress and obstruct a congressional committee investigation, three separate crimes, in the course of considering Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States.”
NEW: In a detailed, 29-page letter Chairman @ChuckGrassley has referred Michael Avenatti and Julie Swetnick to the Attorney General and FBI Director for criminal investigation for providing false statements, obstructing investigations, and conspiracy.https://t.co/ZjQWtnqQOM pic.twitter.com/DNYNGxel4K
— Senator Hatch Office (@senorrinhatch) October 25, 2018
“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 said. “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. It stifles our ability to work on legitimate lines of inquiry. It also wastes time and resources for destructive reasons. Thankfully, the law prohibits such false statements to Congress and obstruction of congressional committee investigations. For the law to work, we can’t just brush aside potential violations. I don’t take lightly making a referral of this nature, but ignoring this behavior will just invite more of it in the future.”
Grassley’s letter notes potential violations of 18 U.S.C. §§ 371, 1001 and 1505, which respectively define the federal criminal offenses of conspiracy, false statements and obstruction of Congress.
Both Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the FBI received the letter, which calls only for an investigation and is not a direct accusation of a crime.
Swetnick’s accounts differ between her sworn statements -provided on September 26- and her account given during an interview conducted by NBC News on October 1. In later interviews, attorney Avenatti also gave contradicting reports.
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