The FBI has reportedly made no arrangements to speak with Julie Swetnick, the third woman to accuse Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct. So her lawyer Michael Avenatti decided to bring her story directly to the people.
In her first sit-down TV interview, which aired in part Monday evening on MSNBC, Swetnick told NBC News reporter Kate Snow that she is “quite a shy person and quite a private person” and that she only decided to come forward with her memories about Kavanaugh “about six weeks ago” when she heard that he had been shortlisted to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy. As someone who is “not political at all,” Swetnick had trouble nailing down exactly when that was but confirmed that she decided to speak out after the news about Christine Blasey Ford’s allegation became public.
“Then I became aware of Dr. Ford and her description of what had happened to her at a party one time, that also had Brett Kavanaugh involved,” she said. “And I started to think back to my days when I was in the early ’80s in Montgomery County in Maryland. And I thought that I might have some information that might corroborate some of the things that she had stated.”
Snow, who stressed that NBC News has not been able to “independently verify” many of Swetnick’s specific claims, spent much of the interview addressing some of the issues that could affect her credibility, including the fact that she had already graduated from high school at the time of the alleged parties and that she was sued by a former employer for “unwelcome sexual and inappropriate conduct after three weeks on the job.” That lawsuit was subsequently thrown out.
Asked how she remembers meeting Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge, Swetnick said they both have “distinctive” faces and that she believes they may have been wearing Georgetown Prep uniforms. As she laid out in her original affidavit, she alleged that she saw Kavanaugh engage in all kinds of predatory behavior at these house parties, including “groping” girls, and she referred to him as a “very aggressive, very sloppy, mean drunk.” While in her prior allegations she said she saw him “spike” drinks, she now said she only saw him hand red Solo cups to girls. “I would not take one of those glasses from Mark Kavanaugh—Brett Kavanaugh, excuse me,” she said.
Unlike Stormy Daniels, who regularly makes media appearances with Avenatti by her side, Swetnick sat down across from Snow alone, perhaps belying an acknowledgement from the lawyer that his presence is not always helpful.
Swetnick also asserts that she was raped by several young men at one party but would not say for sure whether Kavanaugh was one of them. “I cannot specifically say that he was one of the ones who assaulted me,” she said. “But before this happened to me, at that party, I saw Brett Kavanaugh there. I saw Mark Judge there. And they were hanging about the area where I started to feel disoriented and where the room was, and where the other boys were hanging out.”
“I could hear them laughing and laughing,” she added, echoing comments made by Dr. Ford last Thursday. “It’s very hard for me to talk about this, but it’s important that somebody says something, because if Brett Kavanaugh was one of those people that did this to me, there is no way in the world that he should go scot-free on this, and that he should be on the Supreme Court. It’s just unthinkable to me. If he does, there’s no justice in the world.”
“What happened to me is probably the most horrendous, awful thing that could happen to any human being,” Swetnick said, growing more emotional. “My body was violated, my soul was broken. I was not able to have somebody stop when I said, ‘No, stop.’ I felt like somebody took me and basically said, ‘You’re worthless. You are nothing to us. You are disposable.’”
Swetnick said she did contact the Montgomery County police after the incident. Snow noted that NBC News has not yet been able to verify that an official report was made.
In response to those who have criticized her for returning to parties where she believed “gang rapes” were happening, Swetnick said the party where she was assaulted was the last one she remembers attending and that she only assumed the same thing was happening to other girls after it happened to her. She did, however, say she ran into Kavanaugh the next year at “Beach Week” in Ocean City. “And it crushed me,” she said. “I fell apart. And I had to get out of there.”
During the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last Thursday, Kavanaugh called “the Swetnick thing” a “joke” and a “farce.” Both Kavanaugh and Mark Judge claim they never met Swetnick and had never heard of her before she came forward.
“What I say about that is he’s an admitted blackout drunk and drug addict,” Swetnick replied. “How could you know what you’ve forgotten if you blacked out?” Kavanaugh denied ever blacking out from alcohol and did not admit to being a drug addict during the hearing.
“My client Julie Swetnick has offered to take a polygraph test, meet with the FBI and be cross examined by Kavanaugh’s lawyers,” Avenatti tweeted after the interview aired. “He has refused to do the same. All of these women cannot be lying. And women who are lying do not push to meet with the FBI. Why the coverup by Trump?”