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Sen. Collins: Julie Swetnick’s ‘Outlandish’ Claims Led Me To Vote For Kavanaugh

One of the reasons Sen. Susan Collins said she was voting to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court was because she didn’t believe Julie Swetnick’s allegations of gang rape and drug peddling, Axios reported.

Republicans reportedly were thrilled with attorney Michael Avenatti’s involvement in the Kavanaugh debate, according to advisers from the outside groups who worked to get the judge confirmed to the Supreme Court.

Kavanaugh was accused by three women of sexual misconduct when they were in high school and college. Swetnick, who was represented by Avenatti, claimed that Kavanaugh was at the party where she was a victim of gang rape. He denied the allegations.

A source told Axios that that Sen. Susan Collins specifically pointed out Swetnick when explaining how she voted.

“This outlandish allegation was put forth without any credible supporting evidence and simply parroted public statements of others,” Collins said in her speech. “That’s such an allegation can find its way into the Supreme Court confirmation process is a stark reminder about why the presumption of innocence is so ingrained in our a American consciousness.”

A senior person in one of the outside groups joked that Avenatti was working with the Republicans, according to the source.

The source continued: “I can’t overstate how important Michael Avenatti’s role in this [confirmation] was” in making it harder for undecided senators to believe the accusations hurled against Kavanaugh.

Aventtai told Axios Sunday that the criticism is “complete garbage.”

It “reflects an effort by the Republicans to discredit me in light of the comments recently made by Steve Bannon and others,” he said. “They are threatened by me and rightfully should be.”

Alyssa Fisher is a news writer at the Forward. Email her at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter at @alyssalfisher

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