The Corner

Law & the Courts

Seven Questions about the Avenatti/Swetnick Story

Michael Avenatti outside the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles, September 24, 2018. (Andrew Cullen/Reuters)

Some questions raised by the charges brought by Michael Avenatti and his client Julie Swetnick:

  1. Given the seriousness of these allegations, why did Michael Avenatti and Julie Swetnick decline to go directly to the police?
  2. Likewise, why did Avenatti  and Swetnick bypass the press? Did anyone in the press look into this story? What did they find? The New York Times confirms that “none of Ms. Swetnick’s claims could be independently corroborated by The New York Times, and her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, declined to make her available for an interview.” Why?
  3. Where are the witnesses? The charge is of gang rape. Leave aside the question of whether Brett Kavanaugh was involved — and forget for a moment that we’re debating whether he should be on the Supreme Court — surely there are a whole host of victims, perpetrators, and witnesses to this monstrous crime. Where are they?
  4. Is it not a little strange that there are only two details provided, and that they are happen to be public knowledge already? The two names given are Mark Judge’s and Brett Kavanaugh’s. The time given is “BEACH WEEK,” which is listed on the calendar that Brett Kavanaugh released this morning. Why is there nothing new?
  5. According to the New York Times, Swetnick left school in 1980, and then went on to college. Swetnick claims that she “attended at least 10 house parties in the Washington area from 1981 to 1983 where the two were present.” That means that, at the time of the alleged incident(s), she was between 18 and 20-years-old at the least, and that Kavanaugh and Judge were between 16 and 18 at the most. Why was she, an adult, attending high-school parties with minors?
  6. Kavanaugh says that he’s never heard of the accuser. Is there anyone who can testify to the contrary? If so, how did they meet? What relationship did Kavanaugh have with her school, Gaithersburg High? Swetnick claims that she “met Judge Kavanaugh and Mr. Judge in 1980 or 1981.” Why did she, an 18- or 19-year-old, start hanging out with Kavanaugh and Judge, who were 15 or 16, depending on the year?
  7. Why would an adult go repeatedly to parties at which minors were being gang raped, and, having figured out what was going on, resolve only to “avoid the punch”? Did Ms. Swetnick tell anybody what she had seen? Why did she keep going back?

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