The chief counsel of the Judicial Crisis Network, which has run an aggressive and well-funded campaign in support of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation, struggled on Wednesday to continue to support that confirmation in an interview just minutes after new allegations against Kavanaugh were revealed.
Earlier Wednesday, Julie Swetnick wrote in a sworn declaration released publicly that she’d witnessed Kavanaugh fondle and grab girls without their consent in high school, “target” women at parties “so they could be taken advantage of” and participate in efforts with his friend Mark Judge “to cause girls to become inebriated and disoriented so they could then be ‘gang raped,'” among other allegations. Swetnick alleged that she was herself a victim of gang rape at a party, and that Judge and Kavanaugh were present. Swetnick said she knew of several witnesses to this behavior.
The Judicial Crisis Network’s chief counsel and policy director, Carrie Severino, told MSNBC’s Craig Melvin shortly after the allegations were made public: “We have to remember, corroboration doesn’t mean ‘I told someone a year ago or two years ago,’ it means actual contemporaneous evidence.”
“Certainly she says she has other witnesses, let’s hear from them and I know that’s what the Judiciary Committee is looking for,” she added.
Severino argued that Thursday’s hearing at which Christine Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh are set to testify regarding Blasey Ford’s sexual assault allegation against Kavanaugh should continue as planned, “for the sake of bringing closure to that question.”
“They could always have more information from this additional accuser,” Severino said, referring to Swetnick, while criticizing Avenatti for “breaking this on Twitter.”
“I think there’s an opportunity to provide corroboration, but what we do know is it runs completely counter to what many dozens of women have said about the character of Brett Kavanaugh at this time,” she said.
Asked by Melvin if Kavanaugh “should still be confirmed?” Severino implied that he should.
“I think we have to look into this further, but I think from what we know so far, we don’t have corroboration yet, and so I think if the Senate votes on this soon, I think they would have to go on what they know so far,” she said.
“But I know the Senate Judiciary Committee is going to look into this before they would move forward to a vote.”
That committee vote is scheduled to occur in less than 48 hours, at 9:30 a.m. ET on Friday.
Judicial Crisis Network chief counsel Carrie Severino responds to new allegations against Brett Kavanaugh: pic.twitter.com/4XlsRYoA7p
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) September 26, 2018