Kavanaugh controversy: Senate Republicans want update on criminal referrals over dubious accusations

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Senate Republicans on Tuesday sought an replace from the Justice Division and the FBI regarding 4 accusers who allegedly made false claims underneath oath in opposition to now-Supreme Court docket Affiliate Justice Brett Kavanaugh throughout his affirmation hearings final yr.

The letter to Legal professional Normal Invoice Barr and FBI Director Christopher Wray — signed by GOP Sens. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Mike Lee of Utah, Ted Cruz and John Cornyn of Texas, Mike Crapo of Idaho, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, John Kennedy of Louisiana and Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee — got here as Democrats have sought to relitigate the Kavanaugh subject, with just about the entire occasion’s 2020 presidential contenders calling for the justice to be impeached.

The primary legal referral, the senators wrote, involved the “false allegation made by a person who advised the [Judiciary] Committee that he had direct information that Choose Kavanaugh assaulted a detailed buddy on a ship within the harbor at Newport, Rhode Island in 1985.”

The Twitter account belonging to that accuser apparently advocated for a army coup in opposition to the Trump administration. The accuser, who had contacted the workplace of Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., recanted the sexual assault declare on the social media website days later, after an investigation by Senate Republicans.

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The second referral concerned a declare from disgraced legal professional Michael Avenatti and consumer Julie Swetnick, alleging that Kavanaugh participated in gang-rape trains.

“After a radical investigation, the committee discovered no verifiable proof to help any of the allegations made within the declaration,” the senators wrote. “The committee additionally discovered that each Mr. Avenatti and Ms. Swetnick had a protracted historical past of credibility points and should have criminally conspired to mislead the committee and impede its investigation.”

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The third referral particularly implicated Avenatti, who submitted a “sworn assertion by an unknown declarant claimed that Choose Kavanaugh had spiked the punch at home events with Quaaludes and/or grain alcohol.” NBC Information later reported that the obvious declarant had stated Avenatti “twisted her phrases.”

The ultimate referral involved a declare by Judy Munro-Leighton, who had despatched an e-mail to the Judiciary Committee indicating that she was “the writer of an unsigned letter containing extremely graphic sexual-assault accusations in opposition to Choose Kavanaugh beforehand obtained by the workplace of Senator Kamala Harris.” However, when committee workers later interviewed her, “she admitted that she falsely recognized herself because the writer of the letter and its allegations and had solely claimed authorship ‘as a strategy to seize consideration.'”

The letter added: “When requested by committee investigators if she had ever met Choose Kavanaugh, she stated: ‘Oh Lord, no.'”

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LGBT supporters collect in entrance of the U.S. Supreme Court docket, Tuesday, Oct. eight, 2019, in Washington. The Supreme Court docket is ready to listen to arguments in its first instances on LGBT rights because the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy. Kennedy was a voice for homosexual rights whereas his successor, Brett Kavanaugh, is considered extra conservative. (AP Photograph/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Within the technique of evaluating claims in opposition to Kavanaugh, the senators wrote that committee investigators “collected 25 written statements and spoke with 45 people,” and people investigations “culminated within the nominee’s affirmation and the discharge of a 414-page committee report concluding that there was no credible proof to help any of the allegations.”

The senators requested Wray and Barr to offer an replace by Oct. 21. Particularly, the senators requested to know “for every legal referral made by the committee to the FBI, did the FBI open a legal investigation? If that’s the case, which investigation(s) resulted in a referral to the Justice Division for prosecution? If not, why not?”

Moreover, the senators requested: “For every case that was referred to the Justice Division for prosecution, which instances had been rejected and which had been accepted for prosecution?”

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“The following Supreme Court docket nominee shouldn’t must defend himself or herself in opposition to baseless and fabricated allegations, and committee workers shouldn’t must spend helpful time investigating them,” the senators concluded.

Final month, amid a since-discredited New York Occasions report regarding Kavanaugh, 2020 presidential candidates Kamala Harris, Beto O’Rourke, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Julian Castro and Bernie Sanders all known as for Kavanaugh to be faraway from the bench.

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