One day before his first accuser is due to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee about her allegation of being pinned to a bed, groped, and silenced from screaming by a 17-year-old Kavanaugh when she was 15, a third woman has come forward. Her allegations (which Kavanaugh denies) are so upsetting they're almost unbelievable, except that they were made in a sworn affidavit that she signed under penalty of perjury.
Julie Swetnick writes in her statement:
I attended well over ten house parties in the Washington, D.C. area during the years 1981-1983 where Mark Judge and Brett Kavanaugh were present. These parties were a common occurrence in the area and occurred nearly every weekend during the school year. On numerous occasions at these parties, I witnessed Mark Judge and Brett Kavanaugh drink excessively and engaged in highly inappropriate conduct, including being overly aggressive with girls and not taking "No" for an answer. This conduct included the fondling and grabbing of girls without their consent.
Swetnick also alleges:
I observed Brett Kavanaugh drink excessively at many of these parties and engage in abusive and physically aggressive behavior toward girls, including pressing girls against him without their consent, "grinding" against girls," and attempting to remove or shift girls' clothing to expose private body parts. I likewise observed him be verbally abusive toward girls by making crude sexual comments to them that were designed to demean, humiliate and embarrass them. I often witnessed Brett Kavanaugh speak in a demeaning manner about girls in general as well as specific girls by name. I also witnessed Brett Kavanaugh behave as a "mean drunk" on many occasions at these parties.
The most serious and shocking allegation is this:
I also witnessed efforts by Mark Judge, Brett Kavanaugh and others to cause girls to become inebriated and disoriented so they could then be "gang raped" in a side room or bedroom by a "train" of numerous boys. I have a firm recollection of seeing boys lined up outside rooms at many of these parties waiting for their "turn" with a girl inside the room. These boys included Mark Judge and Brett Kavanaugh.
In approximately 1982, I became the victim of one of these "gang" or "train" rapes where Mark Judge and Brett Kavanaugh were present. Shortly after the incident, I shared what had transpired with at least two other people. During the incident, I was incapacitated without my consent and unable to fight off the boys raping me. I believe I was drugged using Quaaludes or something similar placed in what I was drinking.
You can read a pdf of Swetnick's entire statement here. It was released this morning by her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, whose name you will recognize because he is also Stormy Daniels's lawyer (and is widely believed to be eyeing a presidential run in 2020). He said on MSNBC this morning that his firm has thoroughly vetted his client's claims, and points out that she holds a security clearance and has worked with a variety of governmental agencies, as listed on the first page of Swetnick's statement.
Kavanaugh responded to Swetnick's allegations today by saying: "This is ridiculous and from the Twilight Zone. I don't know who this is and this never happened."
In her statement, Swetnick also mentions that she watched Brett Kavanaugh's interview on Fox News earlier this week. (Watch it here.) In that interview, Kavanaugh responded to all kinds of questions with the same prepared phrase about wanting "a fair process," to the extent that he almost came across like a robot in meltdown.
It was such a strange and unconvincing performance that Stephen Colbert did a bit about it last night, a bit that ended on a mashup of just how many times Kavanaugh said "fair process":
As for the rest of that interview: In her statement today, Swetnick says that she "reviewed Brett Kavanaugh's recent claim on Fox News regarding his alleged 'innocence' during his high school years and lack of sexual activity. This claim is absolutely false and a lie. I witnessed Brett Kavanaugh consistently engage in excessive drinking and inappropriate conduct of a sexual nature with women during the early 1980s."
Kavanaugh has repeatedly denied all of the allegations against him. Supposedly, there's a vote on his confirmation scheduled for Friday morning, but judging from the parade of elected officials on TV this morning weighing in on this latest news, I doubt that's going to happen.
"I just read it and it is horrifying," Washington State senator Patty Murray said about Swetnick's statement on Andrea Mitchell Reports this morning. You can watch Murray's interview with Andrea Mitchell here.
"It needs to be investigated absolutely," Murray says, before adding that if the Senate brushes this aside, it sends a message to young girls to "be quiet, sit down, and don't talk," and a message to young boys of "Don't worry, you'll get away with it."