Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley has referred another person to the Justice Department for criminal investigation regarding apparent false allegations during the confirmation hearing for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
In a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director Christopher Wray on Friday, Grassley recounted that the committee reached out to numerous individuals claiming to have relevant information as part of the process of investigating allegations of sexual misconduct leveled against Kavanaugh.
“While many of those individuals have provided the Committee information in good faith, it unfortunately appears some have not,” wrote the senator.
He referred Judy Munro-Leighton for investigation of potential violations of providing materially false statements and obstruction of the committee’s investigation regarding Kavanaugh.
Grassley explained that staff members for Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris of California submitted “an undated handwritten letter to committee investigators that her California office had received signed under the alias “Jane Doe from Oceanside, California.”
“The anonymous accuser alleged that Justice Kavanaugh and a friend had raped her ‘several times each’ in the backseat of a car. In addition to being from an anonymous accuser, the letter listed no return address, failed to provide any timeframe, and failed to provide any location — beyond an automobile — in which these alleged incidents took place,” wrote the chairman.
Committee staff questioned Kavanaugh about the allegations in late September.
“(T)he whole thing is ridiculous. Nothing ever — anything like that, nothing,” the then-nominee responded. “(T)he whole thing is just a crock, farce, wrong, didn’t happen, not anything close.”
The committee later released the transcript of the interview publicly.
BREAKING: This is quite a read. Woman who claimed Justice Kavanaugh raped her now admits they’ve never even met. She’s been referred to DOJ/FBI for investigation and could soon be in serious legal trouble. https://t.co/QhFXt9yhRn
— Shannon Bream (@ShannonBream) November 2, 2018
Three days before Kavanaugh’s confirmation vote, Munro-Leighton wrote an email to the committee claiming, “I am Jane Doe from Oceanside CA — Kavanaugh raped me.”
The woman further related that she was “sharing with you the story of the night that Brett Kavanaugh and his friend sexually assaulted and raped me in his car” and referred to “the letter that I sent to Sen. Kamala Harris on Sept. 19 with details of this vicious assault.”
Committee investigators then looked into Munro-Leighton’s background and learned she is a “left-wing activist,” who is decades older than Judge Kavanaugh and lived in “neither the Washington DC area nor California, but in Kentucky.”
Under questioning by the committee, Munro-Leighton admitted she did not write the Jane Doe letter and that she “just wanted to get attention,” and her actions were a “tactic” and a “ploy” because she opposed Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
“She told Committee investigators that she had called Congress multiple times during the Kavanaugh hearing process – including prior to the time Dr. Ford’s allegations surfaced – to oppose his nomination,” wrote Grassley.
Munro-Leighton revealed that she had never even met Kavanaugh.
Grassley concluded his letter to the DOJ, “(I)n light of the seriousness of these facts, and the threat these types of actions pose to the Committee’s ability to perform its constitutional duties, I hope you will give this referral the utmost consideration.”
Last week, the senator referred attorney Michael Avenatti and his client Julie Swetnick to the DOJ for criminal investigation relating to a “potential conspiracy to provide materially false statements to Congress.”
A news release from the Judiciary Committee highlighted that Swetnick’s allegations about Kavanaugh, made in a sworn statement to the committee, had “serious credibility problems.” Swetnick claimed Kavanaugh was present at parties when there were gang rapes and that he was involved in spiking punch to make women more susceptible to sexual advances.
“In an October 1 interview with NBC News … Swetnick specifically and explicitly back-tracked or contradicted key parts of her sworn statement on these and other allegations,” the release stated. “In subsequent interviews, Avenatti likewise cast serious doubt on or contradicted the allegations while insisting that he had thoroughly vetted his client.”
Following Grassley’s announcement of the criminal referral, NBC published a story noting that not only had the network not been able to corroborate Swetnick’s initial claims, but it “found other apparent inconsistencies in a second sworn statement from another woman whose statement Avenatti provided to the Senate Judiciary Committee in a bid to bolster Swetnick’s claims.”
Based on this reporting, Grassley made a second referral to the DOJ regarding Avenatti.
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