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Tipsheet

ICYMI: Chuck Grassley Referred Porn Lawyer Michael Avenatti a Second Time For 'Twisting' Kavanaugh Claims

Last week Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley officially referred Julie Swetnik and her attorney Michael Avenatti to the Department of Justice for criminal prosecution. The referral came after they made bogus claims, in a sworn affidavit, during the confirmation process for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. 

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"While the Committee was in the middle of its extensive investigation of the late-breaking sexual-assault allegations made by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford against Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Avenatti publicized his client’s allegations of drug- and alcohol-fueled gang rapes in the 1980s," Chairman Chuck Grassley's office released in a statement Thursday. "The obvious, subsequent contradictions along with the suspicious timing of the allegations necessitate a criminal investigation by the Justice Department."

Shortly after the first referral, Grassley again suggested Avenatti be prosecuted after an unnamed woman alleged the lawyer "twisted her words" to attack Kavanaugh. 

"Yesterday, I wrote to you referring Mr. Michael Avenatti and Ms. Julie Swetnick for investigation of potential violations of 18 U.S.C. §§ 371, 1001, and 1505, for materially false statements they made to the Senate Judiciary Committee during the course of the Committee’s investigation into allegations against Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh. I write today because of important additional information regarding Mr. Avenatti that has since come to the Committee’s attention," Grassley wrote in a letter Friday to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director Christopher Wray. "In light of this new information, I am now referring Mr. Avenatti for investigation of
additional potential violations of those same laws, stemming from a second declaration he submitted to the Committee that also appears to contain materially false statements."

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 "According to NBC News, the purported declarant of that sworn statement has disavowed its key allegations and claimed that Mr. Avenatti 'twisted [her] words,'" he continued.

As of Friday, the Department of Justice has not issued comment about whether criminal charges against Avenatti will be pursued.

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