Via Shannon Bream, I’m going to take a leap of faith and assume that Grassley’s investigators checked out that this statement is in fact from the man whose name is on it and that they’ve confirmed its particulars as much as is possible to do from afar.

The alternative is that they’re just posting any ol’ garbage that floats across their inbox in the name of discrediting Kavanaugh’s accusers.

And really, we’ve all had enough of that in the media over the past three weeks.

The supposed author is Dennis Ketterer, a former TV weatherman in Washington D.C. Ketterer claims he met Swetnick at a bar in 1993, they flirted a bit, saw each other a few times and had “physical contact,” although not sex. Then:

He says he ended their interactions after that but a few years later sought to reconnect with her when he ran for Congress (as a Democrat) in Maryland. Why he thought to do that isn’t clear; all he says is that he thought she could help the campaign in some way due to her personality, great smile, and good looks. He spoke to her father at the time to ask for her phone number. Then:

Swetnick’s father told CNN last week that he knew nothing of his daughter’s alleged high-school experiences and hadn’t had contact with her for years. How did Ketterer track him down in 1996, when he went looking for Julie’s phone number? Was he cold-calling people named “Swetnick” in the phone book? And again, why did he think of Swetnick in connection with his political campaign?

Avenatti is pugnacious as always, of course:

If need be, he and Swetnick could admit to everything in Ketterer’s letter and claim that it proves nothing. If in fact she enjoys consensual group sex, that’s an … interesting coincidence with her “gang rape” allegations against Kavanaugh but not necessarily proof that she made up the gang-rape story. And plenty of actual rape victims suffer from psychological problems, for the simple reason that lots of people, period, suffer from psychological problems. If he’s really feeling daring, Avenatti could even try to play cause and effect: It’s because of the abuse she suffered from Kavanaugh’s rape crew or whatever that those problems began.

He’s countering with his own statement this afternoon — a new affidavit from an alleged witness:

And:

Not quite a “gang rape” allegation this time but still plenty bad for Kavanaugh if it’s true, which fewer and fewer people will be willing to believe after Swetnick’s dubious NBC interview last night. Oh — the mystery witness also claims she’s known both Swetnick and Christine Blasey Ford for “decades,” which is, uh, convenient.

Exit question: How many more days before this sleazy sh*tshow is over? McConnell had better hold the votes as scheduled.

Update: The Judiciary Committee responds to Avenatti’s request for a hearing.