Michael Avenatti has expressed outrage over the decision to keep Julie Swetnick’s claims against Brett Kavanaugh from being part of the reopened FBI background check. He might be privately relieved, however, after seeing what the media has already dug up on his client. The Associated Press reports via CBS this morning that Swetnick has been party to several civil actions, both as plaintiff and respondent:
Legal documents from Maryland, Oregon and Florida provide a partial picture of a woman who stepped into the media glare amid the battle over Kavanaugh’s nomination for the nation’s highest court.
Court records reviewed by The Associated Press show Swetnick has been involved in at least six legal cases over the past 25 years. Along with the lawsuit filed by a former employer in November 2000, the cases include a personal injury suit she filed in 1994 against the Washington, D.C., regional transit authority.
Some of this has been previously reported, but the transit-authority lawsuit is both new and pertinent to credibility. The lawsuit involved an alleged injury from a train in which she claimed to have lost $420,000 in lost modeling wages due to a nose injury. The lawsuit included a claim from Swetnick that listed “Konam Studios” as one of her potential employers. However …
To support her claim for lost wages, Swetnick named “Konam Studios” as one of the companies promising to employ her. A court filing identified Nam Ko, a representative of “Kunam Studios,” as a possible plaintiff’s witness for her case.
Ko, however, told AP on Friday that he was just a friend of Swetnick’s and that he had never owned a company with a name spelled either way and had never agreed to pay her money for any work before she injured her nose. He said he first met Swetnick at a bar more than a year after her alleged accident.
“I didn’t have any money back then. I (was) broke as can be,” Ko said.
Ko told the AP that he agreed to let Swetnick use his name as a character reference for a job application, and was surprised to learn from the reporter that he’d been named as a potential employer in a lawsuit. The suit went nowhere, the report concludes. It was officially settled, but the attorney representing the transit agency told the AP that they didn’t pay out any money because — and this sounds familiar — Swetnick failed to corroborate her claims for lost wages.
The Washington Post fills in the story this morning with a few more incidents, in what is mainly intended as a human-interest background story on Swetnick. After finding her estranged father — who never heard of any gang-rapes in high school, although he was distant from her even then — the Post then recounts other legal scrapes of Swetnick’s, including tax issues:
In 2015, the state of Maryland filed an interstate lien against her property in the District. The bill included over $32,000 in unpaid taxes from 2008, and another $27,000 in interest on the seven-year-old debt. Court records reflect the full amount due of nearly $63,000 was satisfied 15 months later, in December 2016. It is not clear from court records whether the bill was paid or if the lien was released because of a decision that the bill was unwarranted.
Similarly, the IRS in 2016 assessed Swetnick a bill of over $40,000 in unpaid taxes from 2014. The federal government filed a lien on her property for the amount in 2017. The debt was listed as satisfied and the lien was released in March of this year.
Miami-Dade County, Fla., court records show Swetnick was involved in a 2001 domestic-violence case filed by Richard Vinneccy, who told Politico that she threatened him after they broke up. But the case was dismissed less than two weeks later when they failed to appear in court.
In 1993, Swetnick accused a Maryland podiatrist and his wife of harassing her with repeated phone calls in a complaint filed with state prosecutors. The case was withdrawn two months later.
Avenatti claims that he fully vetted Swetnick before launching her allegations in the middle of the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation battle. Later, he relied on her status as a holder of security clearances (see addendum below). If Avenatti really did vet Swetnick himself, he didn’t do a very good job of it. If he’s truly interested in representing his client rather than himself and his own political aspirations, Avenatti might want to work on keeping the FBI as far away from his client and her absurd affidavit as he can.
Or maybe that’s not possible any longer. Senate Judiciary Committee chair Chuck Grassley seems intent on setting some examples pour encourager les âutres, siccing the FBI on a man who lodged a false complaint of rape against Kavanaugh last week:
As you know, the Senate Judiciary Committee recently processed the nomination of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh to serve as an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court. As part of that process, the Committee has been investigating various allegations made against Judge Kavanaugh. The Committee’s investigation has involved communicating with numerous individuals claiming to have relevant information. While many of those individuals have acted in good faith in providing the Committee information during the investigation, unfortunately it appears some have not. As explained below, I write today respectfully referring Mr. [redacted] for investigation of potential violations of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1001 and 1505, for materially false statements Mr.[redacted] made to the Committee as part of its investigation of allegations against Judge Kavanaugh.
According to Senator Whitehouse and his Committee staff, on the morning of September 24, 2018, Mr.[redacted] contacted the Senator’s office to report an allegation of sexual misconduct by Judge Kavanaugh. Mr.[redacted] claimed that in August of 1985, Judge Kavanaugh sexually assaulted a close acquaintance of Mr.[redacted] on a boat in the harbor at Newport, Rhode Island. Committee staff took Mr.[redacted]’s allegation seriously, and asked Judge Kavanaugh numerous questions about it under penalty of felony during an interview on September 25, 2018. He categorically denied the allegation. On September 26, 2018, the Committee publicly released a redacted transcript of that interview, with Mr.[redacted]’s name redacted. Afterwards, at 7:51 pm that same evening, Mr.[redacted] “recanted” and apologized for his allegation via social media. I have enclosed the relevant materials documenting these facts.
Suffice it to say that a prosecution for false reporting might put a damper on future free-for-alls of the sort we’ve been seeing over the last couple of weeks … even from self-promoting porn lawyers with presidential aspirations. At the very least, it might promote a healthier vetting process from political manipulators.
Addendum: One last point on security clearances: they are an assessment of national-security risk, not a character reference. If security clearances guaranteed honesty, we’d never have had an Aldrich Ames, a John Walker, a Robert Hansson, a Christopher Boyce, or the entire litany of spies and turncoats who lied and schemed against the US. If security clearances were dispositive, we’d have no need to vet Brett Kavanaugh, for that matter.