Grassley Refers Avenatti And Swetnick To The DOJ For Possible Charges

Grassley Refers Avenatti And Swetnick To The DOJ For Possible Charges

Grassley Refers Avenatti And Swetnick To The DOJ For Possible Charges

If you thought that the Senate Judiciary Committee chair, Senator Chuck Grassley, was just going to let things slide because Brett Kavanaugh is now a Supreme Court justice, you were wrong. Today, he referred Michael Avenatti and his client, Julie Swetnick, to the Department of Justice for potential criminal charges.

In other words, get your popcorn, this is not a drill.

Grassley referred Swetnick and Avenatti for investigation in a letter sent today to the Attorney General of the United States and the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The letter notes potential violations of 18 U.S.C. §§ 371, 1001 and 1505, which respectively define the federal criminal offenses of conspiracy, false statements and obstruction of Congress. The referral seeks further investigation only, and is not intended to be an allegation of a crime.

The referral methodically details the issues with Swetnick’s allegations as relayed by Avenatti, the immediate diversion of committee resources to investigate those allegations, the subsequent contradictions by both Swetnick and Avenatti, the lack of substantiating or corroborating evidence, and the overarching and serious credibility problems pervading the presentation of these allegations.

Swetnick made her allegations in a sworn statement to the committee on September 26. In an October 1 interview with NBC News, however, Swetnick specifically and explicitly back-tracked or contradicted key parts of her sworn statement on these and other allegations. In subsequent interviews, Avenatti likewise cast serious doubt on or contradicted the allegations while insisting that he had thoroughly vetted his client.

Michael Avenatti is not having a good week, despite what he says.


Between this news, and a completely unflattering TIME article that Avenatti is claiming misquoted him, his presidential asperations have never been more lit. As in, they are on fire, because he’s collected the wood, doused it with gasoline, and is playing with sparklers while dancing around it. Grassley’s letter is just the natural progression of playing with fire.

In a letter to the attorney general and the F.B.I. director, the chairman, Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, detailed a series of apparent contradictions between sworn claims submitted to his committee and subsequent statements to the news media by the woman, Julie Swetnick, and Mr. Avenatti, who could also be investigated. Mr. Grassley also said that committee investigators had been able to find no information substantiating the claims and instead unearthed “substantial information calling into question her credibility.”

“For the law to work, we can’t just brush aside potential violations,” Mr. Grassley said in a statement accompanying the letter. “I don’t take lightly making a referral of this nature, but ignoring this behavior will just invite more of it in the future.”

Now, the DOJ does not have to actually start an investigation. Grassley’s letter is simply a referral for potential charges. But hey, Avenatti claimed he wanted an FBI investigation! He just didn’t think it would be one investigating him.

Featured image: Michael Avenatti (screenshot via YouTube)

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2 Comments
  • BLOC says:

    “The letter notes potential violations of 18 U.S.C. §§ 371, 1001 and 1505, which respectively define the federal criminal offenses of conspiracy, false statements and obstruction of Congress. The referral seeks further investigation only, and is not intended to be an allegation of a crime.”

    If conspiracy and obstruction of Congress are worth a referral, how about including Blasey Ford and Senator Feinstein?

    Just askin’.

    • GWB says:

      Feinstein: Article I, Section 6, 2d half of first paragraph*
      Ford: because you’d have a very hard time supporting a claim of lying (her lawyers did a LOT of that lying, and Feinstein some of the rest). She’s also a very sympathetic target, and you could get a lot of blowback in the next week and a half.

      (* Funny that the Founders put in that paragraph because they rightly feared abuse of the legal system to achieve political ends. But, what they got was abuse of society because of legal immunity. Ugh.)

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