‘It is important to protect the constitutional process from being hijacked by bad actors involved in insidious partisan operations…’
(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) A group of GOP senators wants to know what happened with four supposed “witnesses” against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh who were criminally referred for submitting what were found to be materially false statements to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“While most of those individuals appear to have contacted the Committee in good faith, some did not,” wrote the group of nine Judiciary Republicans in a letter to Attorney General William Barr and FBI Director Christopher Wray.
Led by former Senate Judiciary Chair Chuck Grassley, R-Neb., and current Chair Lindsey Graham, R-SC, the group requested an update on the status of the probes, which not only increased the level of rancor during Kavanaugh’s contentious hearings last year, but also consumed precious time and money.
“These criminal referrals were not made lightly,” wrote the senators. “In each of the aforementioned cases, the referred individual(s) made false allegations against then-Judge Kavanaugh. These allegations were taken seriously and carefully investigated by Committee staff, resulting in the diversion of significant resources.”
Although Kavanaugh’s first and primary accuser, California psychology professor Christine Blasey Ford, was not among the names—with her highly watched testimony deemed ‘credible’ by many, despite being uncorroborated—some of the criminal referrals may dredge up memories for those who closely followed the confirmation hearings:
- One is Julie Swetnick, who came forward with claims that Kavanaugh engaged in drug-fueled gang rapes during his college years.
- Another is for Swetnick’s attorney, Michael Avenatti—already a familiar name from his time representing Trump accuser Stormy Daniels—who was found to have falsified evidence.
- A third accuser, Judy Munro–Leighton, claimed authorship of an unsigned letter sent to the office of Sen. Kamala Harris which graphically alleged Kavanaugh and a friend had raped her in the back seat of a car. She later denied having written the letter and admitted she was only seeking attention.
- The fourth referral—which was actually the first one sent, chronologically, came from a man who claimed to have had direct knowledge that Kavanaugh assaulted a close friend on a boat in the harbor at Newport, Rhode Island in 1985. He later recanted and apologized.
In addition to finding those four had made potentially criminal false statements, the committee—which in total investigated 45 individuals and 25 written statements—-released its 414-page report in November 2018, finding that none of the witnesses offered sufficient evidence to support the allegations against Kavanaugh.
Even so, left-wing operatives have continued their bid to smear Kavanaugh. Last month, the New York Times rolled out supposedly new allegations of a yet-unreported sexual assault involving Kavanaugh during his college years.
The coverage—which was tied to a release of a book written by the purported journalists—threatened to reignite year-old wounds in the bitter partisan rift as Democrats clamored for Kavanaugh to be impeached.
The unverified allegations came from a man with close ties to Democrats including Bill and Hillary Clinton who claimed to have witnessed an assault. But the Times buried in its report the fact that the alleged victim had no memory of it and refused to speak with reporters.
The newspaper was later forced to issue a correction.
The issue was further deflated by the revelation that these allegations already had gone before the Senate Judiciary Committee and the FBI, who did not find any merit in them.
President Donald Trump responded on Twitter by encouraging the embattled justice to start holding accountable those who were attempting to defame him.
Brett Kavanaugh should start suing people for libel, or the Justice Department should come to his rescue. The lies being told about him are unbelievable. False Accusations without recrimination. When does it stop? They are trying to influence his opinions. Can’t let that happen!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 15, 2019
Likewise, the Judiciary Senators in their recent letter pointed to high-profile cases involving Martha Stewart, former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and George W. Bush White House staffer Scooter Libby among those who had done time for lying to congressional investigators.
They said it was a crucial deterrent to prevent others from acting in bad faith.
“It is important to protect the constitutional process from being hijacked by bad actors involved in insidious partisan operations,” wrote the Senators. “The Committee can bring bad actors to the attention of law enforcement and the American people by being as transparent as possible about its investigative findings.”
The group gave the DOJ and FBI until Oct. 21 to respond with an update in the four Kavanaugh referrals.
“The next Supreme Court nominee should not have to defend himself or herself against baseless and fabricated allegations, and Committee staff should not have to spend valuable time investigating them,” wrote the senators.