Senator Grassley tries to validate the claims of Supreme Court Nominee’s Accusers

As the Senate neared its vote on the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, the Judiciary Committee chairman demanded information from attorneys representing one of the judge’s accusers.

As the Senate neared its vote on the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, the Judiciary Committee chairman demanded information from attorneys representing one of the judge’s accusers.

in Judicial Appointments
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Senator Grassley tries to validate the claims of Supreme Court Nominee’s Accusers

– By Jim Owen

As the Senate neared its vote on the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, the Judiciary Committee chairman demanded information from attorneys representing one of the judge’s accusers.

In a letter to Christine Blasey Ford’s legal team, Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa asked for notes from the client’s therapy sessions and recordings of her lie-detector test. The request was just one example of GOP attempts to get to the bottom of Ford’s claims, who testified that Kavanaugh assaulted her at a party in 1982; and others who also charged the judge with sexual misconduct.

Senator Collins
Related :  Susan Collins explosive speech. © YURI GRIPAS / REUTERS -stock.adobe.com

Key Questions

Grassley wanted to know about Ford’s contacts with the news media. He wrote that the psychologist had “put Judge Kavanaugh on trial before the nation” when she appeared before the committee. Grassley suggested that Ford was not telling the truth, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The senator pointed out that a former boyfriend of Ford had given the committee a sworn statement alleging doubts about the validity of her lie-detector scores. The man said he saw Ford help another person prepare for such a test.

The Hill noted that during her testimony, Ford denied that she received coaching in how to successfully answer lie-detector questions. She claimed that she consulted only with her lawyers, who objected to turning over the information Grassley requested because the FBI had not completed its background investigation of Kavanaugh, the Daily Wire reported.

Lindsey Graham
Related: Lindsey Graham erupts. Tom Williams/Pool via REUTERS

Lawmakers’ ‘Responsibility’

Grassley explained that the Constitution requires his committee to examine judicial nominees and make its own judgments about their fitness. The senator said the FBI’s actions are irrelevant to the panel’s duty. He went on to state that the Senate has no influence over FBI policies and procedures, and that anyone who objects to the agency’s behavior should speak with the director.

Grassley advised Ford’s legal team to abstain from using the FBI as an excuse for its refusal to turn over information to the committee. He said it does not matter how many times the bureau interrogates Ford; the panel still has the right to look into her claims.

The senator noted that Ford has been more willing than her lawyers to release the evidence, which she shared with the news media. He said he did not understand why the attorneys are so reluctant to give the committee the documents, even those that put their client in a favorable light. Grassley declared that the only conclusion he could make is that the evidence does not support Ford’s claim to the degree that her lawyers have claimed.

The senator concluded his message with a demand for details about Ford’s “communications” with Democratic committee members Dianne Feinstein of California and Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, who opposed Kavanaugh’s nomination.

Other Accusers

In addition, Grassley asked about contacts with “the alleged witnesses identified by Dr. Ford” (Leland Keyser, Mark Judge, and Patrick “P.J.” Smyth); and two other Kavanaugh accusers, Debbie Ramirez, and Julie Swetnick.

The chairman also questioned the validity of Julie Swetnick’s claims. She claimed she was gang-raped during a 1980s party that Kavanaugh attended. She also indicated that she attended at least 10 such parties. Grassley released a letter from Dennis Ketterer, who said he had an affair with Swetnick in 1993.

Ketterer, a Utah resident who formerly worked as a meteorologist in the Washington, D.C., area, ridiculed Swetnick. He wrote that he did not understand why such a “beautiful” and stylish woman would be attracted to an overweight man like himself. Ketterer recalled wondering whether Swetnick was a prostitute, but abandoned the thought because she never asked for money in exchange for sex.

 

Ketterer acknowledged that at the time, he had a family with children and was experiencing marital difficulties. He claimed that he had “physical contact” with Swetnick, whom he described as “very sexually aggressive.”

According to Ketterer, Swetnick remarked that she liked to engage in group sex. The man wrote that during his two-week relationship with the woman, she did not mention her experiences with Kavanaugh; and that Swetnick’s father told him she suffered from “psychological and other problems.”

Michael Avenatti, Swetnick’s attorney, called the letter “complete garbage.”The FBI ignored his plea to interview his client as part of the Kavanaugh investigation. Avenatti, who also represents former adult-film star Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against President Trump, received support from women’s rights activists. Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation, slammed the committee for ridiculing Swetnick but declining to allow her to testify at the hearing.

 

Carly Mee, a lawyer who heads SurvJustice (an organization that helps sexual-violence victims), wrote that while committee members cannot stop someone like Ketterer from speaking out, they do not have to publicize such allegations. Avenatti told the Daily Beast that Republicans showed they were “desperate” when they released the “bogus” and “highly inappropriate” letter.

Democrats argued that the charges against Kavanaugh were sufficient evidence to deny him a lifetime appointment to the nation’s highest court. However, President Trump refused to withdraw the nomination. Nearly all Senate Republicans also remained adamant in their defense of the judge. They continue to persist to seek more information from the accusers regarding their claims. However, without compelling evidence, it seems unlikely, that Republicans will move to disown the judge over uncorroborated claims.

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