Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) made waves Thursday when he asked the Department of Justice to investigate both Julie Swetnick and her attorney, Michael Avenatti, for allegedly making false statements during the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Swetnick came forward shortly after Dr. Christine Blasey Ford to report that she, too, witnessed inappropriate sexual conduct from Kavanaugh many years ago. Swetnick was not included in the brief FBI probe into Kavanaugh, which was ignited after Ford testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Ford says that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in the 1980s, while both were attending a party.
The FBI probe into Ford’s claims lasted less than a week. Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court in a 50-48 Senate vote just days after the FBI report was completed. This report was not made available to the public, and has since been locked in a vault.
GOP Senate Judiciary Chair Grassley made a criminal referral over Julie Swetnick's allegations against Brett Kavanaugh her legal counsel @MichaelAvenatti.
Now, the FBI will HAVE to interview Kavanaugh.
— Grant Stern (@grantstern) October 25, 2018
“Senator Grassley has just made a major mistake,” Avenatti said, according to USA Today.
“It is ironic that Senator Grassley now is interested in investigations. He didn’t care when it came to putting a man on the SCOTUS for life. We welcome the investigation as now we can finally get to the bottom of Judge Kavanaugh’s lies and conduct. Let the truth be known.”
Swetnick was one of three women who accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault and/or harassment. She submitted a written statement about her experiences on September 26. According to her statement, Kavanaugh participated in “gang rape” at parties while he was in high school and college.
Kavanaugh denied all her claims, along with Ford’s claims.
“When a well-meaning citizen comes forward with information relevant to the committee’s work, I take it seriously,” said Grassley. “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.”
“I look forward to a thorough investigation into Judge Kavanaugh,” Avenatti said Thursday, according to CNN. “We have all waited long enough.”
Grassley has asked the FBI to investigate Julie Swetnick’s claims, but not because an alleged sexual predator is in the Supreme Court. He wants Swetnick to be potentially convicted for “materially false statements” made to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
And either way, Brett Kavanaugh is on the Supreme Court. Short of being impeached, he’s appointed for life, and only he will decide when he is ready to retire from the bench, though he could also choose to stay on it until he dies.