In her speech on the Senate floor Friday, announcing her intention to vote yes on Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation, Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins took aim at the allegations leveled by Julie Swetnick, who is represented by Michael Avenatti. In a sworn affidavit, as The Daily Beast recounted, Swetnick alleged that she was drugged against her will and gang-raped at a party where Kavanaugh was present.
Though Swetnick never alleged that Kavanaugh participated in her rape, or in any rapes, she alleged in her sworn statement that as a teenager, Kavanaugh “consistently engaged in excessive drinking and inappropriate contact of a sexual nature with women during the early 1980s,” and that Kavanaugh and his high school friend Mark Judge “targeted” women at parties to be drugged and later raped by multiple men, according to CNBC.
Collins called the allegations “outlandish…put forth without any credible supporting evidence,” adding, “that such an allegation can find its way into the Supreme Court confirmation process is a stark reminder about why the presumption of innocence is so ingrained in our American consciousness,” according to The Daily Beast.
In its supplemental background check of Kavanaugh, the FBI did not interview Swetnick or investigate her allegations, according to the Washington Post, though Avenatti also released a statement from an unnamed witness backing up Swetnick’s claims, the Law & Crime site noted.
Following Collins speech, which, along with an announcement of support for Kavanaugh by Democratic West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, effectively clinched Kavanaugh’s confirmation, Avenatti blasted Collins, saying effectively that Collins did not know what she was talking about in her comments about Swetnick.
“Senator Collins should be ashamed of herself for attacking my client and Dr. Ford. How did she make a credibility determination as to my client?” Avenatti asks on his Twitter account. “How is she qualified to do that without ANY investigation? She did ZERO to determine whether my client and her witnesses were credible”
In a subsequent Twitter post, Avenatti said that Collins “does not have the judgment to be a US Senator.”
“She never met my client, never had her interviewed, never met the six witnesses supporting her declaration or had them interviewed, and never cross examined my client,” Avenatti wrote. “And yet she made a credibility determination. How?”
In an interview with NBC News, Swetnick further described what she said was Kavanaugh’s behavior at parties where they both, she says, were in attendance.
“He was very aggressive — very sloppy drunk, very mean drunk. I saw him — go up to girls and paw on them, try to, you know, get a little too handsy, touching them in private parts,” she said. “I saw him try to shift clothing.”