Monday, 29 October 2018

Grassley: Porn Lawyer Avenatti’s Claims Are a "Fraud"

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Porn lawyer Michael Avenatti (shown) is in even hotter water now than he was on Thursday. That’s because Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley sent a second letter to the Justice Department that accuses Avenatti of lying to the committee.

On Friday, Grassley wrote that Avenatti peddled “materially false” statements to the committee with the sworn statement from an anonymous woman who said she saw U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh spike punch and abuse girls at high-school parties.

Grassley based his letter on a report from NBC, which divulged on Thursday that the woman denied her sworn statement, which Avenatti used to corroborate the preposterous claims of Julie Swetnick, the Avenatti client who first claimed Kavanaugh helped gang-rape girls.

Avenatti’s claims, Grassley wrote, are a “fraud.”

Swetnick, too, retracted her claims in an interview with NBC, which prompted Grassley’s letter to the Justice Department on Thursday.

Second Letter
Grassley’s second letter is much like the first. It documents the contradictions between the anonymous woman’s sworn statement and what she told NBC before Avenatti released it publicly and e-mailed it to the committee on October 2.

The anonymous woman, Grassley noted, stated, “I witnessed firsthand Brett Kavanaugh, together with others, ‘spike’ the ‘punch’ at house parties I attended with Quaaludes and/or grain alcohol. 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.’” And Kavanaugh, she said, was “overly aggressive and verbally abusive to girls. This conduct included inappropriate physical contact with girls of a sexual nature.”

But, wrote Grassley:

After I sent you my referral [on October 25], NBC News revealed yesterday evening that its reporters in fact had a series of contacts with the purported declarant between September 30, 2018, and October 5, 2018. According to that report, the declarant denied the key allegations contained in the sworn statement, both before and after the statement was publicly released. Despite the fact the sworn statement Mr. Avenatti sent to the Committee stated she “witnessed firsthand” Judge Kavanaugh spiking punch, she expressly denied this.

Grassley quoted the NBC report: “Less than 48 hours before Avenatti released her sworn statement on Twitter, the same woman told NBC News a different story. Referring to Kavanaugh spiking the punch, ‘I didn’t ever think it was Brett,’ the woman said to reporters in a phone interview arranged by Avenatti on September 30 after repeated requests to speak with other witnesses who might corroborate Swetnick’s claims.”

Then Grassley went through the other key statements the woman denied.

“As soon as the call began,” NBC reported, “the woman said she never met Swetnick in high school and never saw her at parties.” They became friends only in their 30s.

As well, NBC reported, on October 3, without Avenatti present on a phone call, the woman said she “skimmed” the declaration. “It is incorrect that I saw Brett spike the punch,” she texted to NBC on October 4. “I didn’t see anyone spike the punch.... I was very clear with Michael Avenatti from day one.”

She flatly told NBC that Avenatti “twisted my words.”

Concluded Grassley:

Simply put, the sworn statement Mr. Avenatti provided the Committee on October 2 appears to be an outright fraud. According to NBC News, the purported declarant denied — both before and after the sworn statement was released — the key allegations Mr. Avenatti attributed to her. She stated she was clear and consistent “from day one” with Mr. Avenatti that those claims were not true. And she said Mr. Avenatti ‘twisted [her] words.’ When reporters pressed him on these discrepancies, Mr. Avenatti attempted to deceive them in an apparent effort to thwart the truth coming out.

First Letter
Grassley’s first letter about Avenatti and Swetnick focused on Swetnick’s reversal, also on NBC, of the explosive claims of drunken parties where Kavanaugh and Mark Judge joined “trains” of men who were raping incapacitated girls.

It also noted that Swetnick’s declaration discussed beach parties, which Avenatti did not mention when he first divulged Swetnick’s claims to the committee on September 23. That’s suspicious because Avenatti sent the declaration to the committee on September 26, after the Judiciary Committee released Kavanaugh’s calendar from 1982, which mentioned beach week.

Friday’s letter is the third of Grassley’s referrals. The first, on September 29, sought an investigation of the man who claimed he saw Kavanaugh sexually abuse a woman on a boat in Rhode Island. He retracted the claim.

Image of Michael Avenatti: Screenshot of youtube video released by AP

 

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