In a sworn affidavit made public on Wednesday, Julie Swetnick says that Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge were present when she was gang raped at a Maryland house party in 1982. She does not directly accuse Kavanaugh of taking part in it, but alleges that he frequently drank to excess at similar house parties she attended in the early 1980s and says she witnessed him grope women without their consent.
Swetnick, who attended high school near where Kavanaugh lived and at the same time as him, also describes a culture of alcohol abuse and misogyny in which he and his friends took part. In her statement, she says that she witnessed Kavanaugh “consistently engage in excessive drinking and inappropriate contact of a sexual nature with women during the 1980s.” Though Kavanaugh has acknowledged some alcohol use during his high school and college years, he has disputed claims that he often became so inebriated that he would black out.
Kavanaugh has not yet responded to the latest allegation. In statements issued after Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez accused him of sexual assault over the past two weeks, the federal judge denied any allegations of sexual misconduct. Swetnick’s statement comes less than 24 hours before Kavanaugh and Blasey are set to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and it’s likely that lawmakers will ask him questions about it.
It’s unclear how the new allegations will be received by the committee beyond that. Swetnick’s statement became public after it was posted on Twitter by her lawyer Michael Avenatti, who announced last weekend that he was representing a then-unnamed woman with allegations against Kavanaugh. Avenatti’s involvement has antagonized Republicans who see him as a sensationalist political opponent and frustrated Democrats who fear that his involvement could undermine their growing case against the Supreme Court nominee.
Little is also known about Swetnick herself. In the affidavit, she describes herself as a government employee with multiple security clearances related to her work for the Treasury and the Mint. Her claims are further bolstered by the fact that she was likely aware that lying in a sworn statement can carry criminal penalties and would jeopardize her ability to hold those clearances.