We find ourselves in the eleventh hour of an FBI investigation into sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, an apparent rush job poised to conclude as soon as today. Yet witnesses continue to come forward, declaring themselves ready to volunteer information: On Tuesday, attorney Michael Avenatti tweeted another sworn affidavit from a woman who says she knows two of Kavanaugh's accusers, and can confirm key details from their accounts. Furthermore, she is ready and willing to answer any questions the FBI might want to ask her, under penalty of perjury.
Avenatti's latest witness, who would seem to be one of the women the attorney says "deserves to be heard & interviewed by the FBI before any vote on the nomination," identified herself as a 1983 graduate of a Washington, D.C.-area high school. She allegedly met Kavanaugh and his reported partner in crime, Mark Judge, during Beach Week 1980, and recalls that they all attended "at least 20" of the same house parties between that year and 1982. She knew the boys well because they ran in the same social circles, she said. Further, she has known Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Julie Swetnick "for decades," she said, and "believe[s] they are both honest and truthful."
On many occasions, she stated, she watched Kavanaugh and Judge "drink excessively and be overly aggressive and verbally abusive toward girls," making "inappropriate physical contact ... of a sexual nature" with the women in attendance. An underage Kavanaugh in particular made a habit of "drinking to a point where he was incoherent and vomiting," she added.
The witness went on to say that she'd seen that Fox News interview in which Kavanaugh pled the virgin defense, which she characterized as "laughable," "absolutely false and a lie" based on what she'd seen.
"I witnessed firsthand Brett Kavanaugh, together with others, 'spike' the 'punch' at house parties I attended with Quaaludes and/or grain alcohol," she said. "I understood this was being done for the purpose of making girls more likely to engage in sexual acts and less likely to say 'no.'"
URGENT: Below please find an email just sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee, together with a declaration from another witness who confirms a number of Ms. Swetnick's claims. These women deserve to be heard & interviewed by the FBI before any vote on the nomination. pic.twitter.com/upkoIWfKxz
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) October 2, 2018
Her account sounds a lot like that offered by Swetnick, another of Avenatti's clients. Swetnick says that Kavanaugh, Judge, and his buddies routinely slipped substances into women's drinks, with an eye to orchestrating their targets' "train" rapes by groups of boys. Swetnick, who identified herself as a victim of these assaults without specifically naming Kavanaugh as a perpetrator, also said that Kavanaugh regularly berated and humiliated women during his benders.
Whether or not the FBI will interview Swetnick—or this mystery witness—in the course of its investigation remains unclear, if unlikely, given reports that the agency may wrap its inquest Wednesday. The agency is pressed for time, given President Trump's paradoxical demand that it take a super-quick-but-thorough look at all available evidence in assessing allegations Dr. Ford made before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday. She was cooperative, credible, and forthcoming, whereas Kavanaugh immediately launched into an unbridled attack mode that, in addition to concerns over his past behaviors, raised real questions about his temperament and ability to control himself on the Court.
Since Dr. Ford came forward, Trump aides have reportedly been shocked and relieved at the "restraint" he showed in not immediately criticizing her on Twitter. That discipline has eroded, though: Speaking at a rally for a campaign that never actually ended, Trump indulged in open mockery of the witness.
"'I don't know. I don't know.' 'Upstairs? Downstairs? Where was it?' 'I don't know. But I had one beer. That's the only thing I remember,'" Trump said, impersonating Dr. Ford. Characterizing the women who have accused Kavanaugh of misconduct as "really evil people" who clawed a man's life to "tatters," the president implored the women in his audience to think of their husbands and sons in the nominee's position.
In response, two Republican Senators whose votes Trump requires to jam Kavanaugh's nomination through Congress expressed concern. "The president's comments were just plain wrong," Maine Sen. Susan Collins said, while Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake was somewhat milder in his condemnation. Noting that "there's no time and place for remarks like that," Flake called the commentary "kind of appalling." (Kind of!) Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, meanwhile, seemed to accept some of Trump's speech as true:
Does anyone really think that the same people who called Judge Kavanaugh “evil” long before they heard one word of testimony will be satisfied? It’s time to put this embarrassing spectacle behind us, and vote on this impressive, stunningly qualified Supreme Court nominee.
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) October 3, 2018
Still, some of the people who'd previously vouched for Kavanaugh's character have publicly revoked their support. Two of his Yale classmates wrote the Judiciary Committee retracting their endorsement of the candidate, on the grounds that his testimony evinced partisanship and "was not judicious." And on Monday, Brookings Institute Senior Fellow Benjamin Wittes published an op-ed in the Atlantic explaining that, despite his longstanding and congenial relationship with Kavanaugh, he could not advise Senators to confirm the nominee because his presentation on Thursday amounted to a patently biased "howl of rage." That alone, Wittes said, should disqualify Kavanaugh.
Two former Yale classmates of Kavanaugh's who previously vouched for him just wrote to the Senate Judiciary Committee to note they are withdrawing their support because of "the nature of Judge Kavanaugh’s testimony." pic.twitter.com/b0DEQIbYQF
— Jennifer Bendery (@jbendery) October 2, 2018
And yes: If you watched Kavanaugh's hearings, and really it seemed like the entire country did, then you may see where the temper tantrum left him looking a little unstable, unhinged, unqualified to assume the level of responsibility that goes along with a seat on the nation's highest court. Unfortunately, though, a number of Kavanaugh's privileged male peers seemed energized by what they saw as a display of righteous rage. In any case, Republicans vow their vote will happen this week. We'll be updating as the Kavanaugh news rolls in.