Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley on Thursday asked for a criminal investigation into whether Julie Swetnick and her attorney, Michael Avenatti, conspired to provide false statements to Congress and obstructed a congressional investigation during the confirmation process for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the AP reports. Grassley wrote in a letter to the Justice Department that Swetnick and Avenatti made serious allegations that required significant resources to investigate. But Grassley says information from media interviews and elsewhere indicates their statements "likely contained materially false claims." "I don't take lightly making a referral of this nature, but ignoring this behavior will just invite more of it in the future," Grassley said.
Avenatti released a sworn statement in which Swetnick said she witnessed Kavanaugh "consistently engage in excessive drinking and inappropriate contact of a sexual nature with women in the early 1980s." Kavanaugh denied the allegations. Avenatti told the AP he would put his client's credibility up against Grassley's any day: "This is a classic case of be careful what you wish for," he said. "The only way you test whether my client's allegations were true is if you find out whether they were true or not" through an investigation, Avenatti said. But Grassley says that Swetnick subsequently contradicted herself in media interviews and there is lack of credible evidence that she ever met or socialized with Kavanaugh. Friends of Kavanaugh also told the committee they had never heard of Swetnick, Grassley said. Avenatti also represents porn actress Stormy Daniels, who claims she had an affair with President Trump, and he's thinking about running for president in 2020. (Read more Julie Swetnick stories.)