During his highly publicized speech on the floor of the Senate on Wednesday afternoon, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) said he does not “believe that a claim of sexual assault is invalid because a 15-year-old girl didn’t promptly report the assault to the authorities, as the president of the United States said just two days ago” before asking: “How uninformed and uncaring do you have to be to say things like that, much less believe them?”
Apparently Brett Kavanaugh’s lawyer doesn’t feel that standard applies to her client’s third accuser.
After Michael Avenatti revealed new allegations against Kavanaugh from his client, Julie Swetnick, who claims the judge was present at parties where young teenage girls were “gang-raped,” Kavanaugh’s attorney Beth Wilkinson went on CNN to cast doubt on the latest accuser’s credibility.
“When you say you went to ten parties like that and you kept going to those parties even though that was happening and you saw that supposedly happen to other girls?” Wilkinson asked.
“That is a different thing not to report. I understand why women don’t support sexual assault. It’s very difficult and no one should criticize them for that, but this is a whole different level.”
Wilkinson continued to bash Swetnick for returning to parties where those alleged atrocities were occurring and never considering “what was happening to those other women,” adding, “I have a very hard time believing that’s true.”
In her sworn affidavit, Swetnick alleged that she was drugged and raped at one of those parties, and that Kavanaugh was present when it happened—but she did not go so far as to claim he was personally involved in her alleged rape.
The lawyer went on to question Swetnick’s timing, coming forward just one day before the hearing where his first accuser Christine Blasey Ford is set to testify.
“I mean it's outrageous,” Wilkinson said. “Really? You witnessed gang rapes and you have never come forward? We know Judge Kavanagh has been under scrutiny for months, and you witnessed something like this, as a parent of a daughter and two sons, I cannot imagine not coming forward when this man was named, if that's what you witnessed.”
Wilkinson’s comments echo talking points from both conservative media personalities and Republican senators in the hours since Avenatti made his client’s claims public.
National Review editor Rich Lowry, for example, was quick to respond to Avenatti with “one obvious question” about the account: “Why would she constantly attend parties where she believed girls were being gang-raped?”
“If you know there's a band of 15 year olds running drugs and raping fellow teenagers, why'd you keep going to the parties?” prominent right-wing commentator Erick Erickson asked on Twitter. “Why'd you never tell anyone else about this rape gang?”
Similarly, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who has publicly stated that nothing could make him rescind his support for Kavanaugh’s nomination, tweeted: “I have a difficult time believing any person would continue to go to – according to the affidavit – ten parties over a two-year period where women were routinely gang raped and not report it.”
And Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) told Fox News: “We are being told that a woman went to 10 different parties where women were being gang raped and never reported it until two days before this hearing. That just doesn't seem right to me.”
And when President Trump was asked by reporters on Wednesday if he believes all three women are lying, he would only respond: “What’s your next question?”
However, naturally, his son Donald Trump Jr. did not hesitate to share his thoughts on the matter, questioning why Swetnick would repeatedly attend high school parties once she was already in college—something he swore he and his friends would never have done.