Support 100 years of independent journalism.

Third woman comes forward with disturbing allegations against Brett Kavanaugh

Julie Swetnick alleges that Kavanaugh was there when she was “gang raped” at a party in 1982.

By Nicky Woolf

The weight of accusations against Trump’s Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh got even heavier on Wednesday as a third woman came forward with allegations of sexual misconduct.

Julie Swetnick says that she saw Kavanaugh drinking at house parties and described “abusive and physically aggressive behavior toward girls” by him.

Incredibly disturbingly, she also alleges that Kavanaugh and his friends often tried to get girls drunk so that they could “gang rape” them. She says that she was the victim herself of this practice at a party in 1982 and that Kavanaugh was present.

Christine Blasey Ford, the first woman to come forward with accusations about Kavanaugh, is set to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee tomorrow. On Sunday, a New Yorker article came out in which a second woman, Deborah Ramirez, joined Ford in accusing Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct.

Kavanaugh denies all of the allegations, saying in testimony released by the committee that he is the victim of a campaign of “grotesque and obvious character assassination.” On Wednesday he said in a statement that the new allegations from Swetnick were “ridiculous and from the Twilight Zone.”

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.

Swetnick is represented by Michael Avenatti, the lawyer who represents Stormy Daniels, the porn star who Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen paid $130,000 for her silence over an alleged affair with the then-presidential candidate.

Content from our partners
How to create a responsible form of “buy now, pay later”
“Unions are helping improve conditions for drivers like me”
Transport is the core of levelling up

It is not yet clear what this means for the prospect of Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Avenatti, along with Senate Democrats, are calling for the new accusations to be investigated by the FBI. But Senator Chuck Grassley, the chair of the committee, is saying that Thursday’s hearing, at which both Kavanaugh and Ford will testify, will still go ahead as planned.

Trump struck out at Avenatti, who has become something of a nemesis for the president, in a tweet on Wednesday, saying “Avenatti is a third rate lawyer who is good at making false accusations, like he did on me and like he is now doing on Judge Brett Kavanaugh. He is just looking for attention and doesn’t want people to look at his past record and relationships – a total low-life!”