A woman who claimed she was raped by Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh later recanted her claim and admitted she lied.
A letter signed by “Jane Doe” from Oceanside, California, was sent to Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and referred to by Harris staffers on Sept. 25. It contained highly detailed and graphic sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh, but the letter listed no return address, failed to provide any timeframe, and failed to provide a location apart from allegedly happening in a car, investigators noted.
The United States Committee on the Judiciary investigated the claims made by the woman, who was revealed as Judy Munro-Leighton when she sent an email to the committee on Oct. 3 saying: “I am Jane Doe from Oceanside CA—Kavanaugh raped me.” She referred to the handwritten letter and included a typed version of the letter in the email.
“Committee investigators were able to determine that she is a left-wing activist, is decades older than Judge Kavanaugh, and lives in neither the Washington D.C. area nor California, but in Kentucky,” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), head of the committee, said in a letter (pdf) sent to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director Christopher Wray on Nov. 2.
NEW: Another Kavanaugh accuser has been referred to law enforcement after admitting the graphic accusations she made to the committee were “a ploy,” done “for attention,” noting she’s never even met Brett Kavanaugh. https://t.co/D398Ucv7iA pic.twitter.com/u8JHY46GTG
— Senator Hatch Office (@senorrinhatch) November 2, 2018
According to federal records, Munro-Leighton has donated hundreds of dollars to Democrats in the past two years. She’s been quoted in multiple publications as an anti-war activist, including The Nation.
Investigators weren’t able to connect with the accuser until Nov. 1. She admitted that she hadn’t been sexually assaulted by Kavanaugh.
She said that she “just wanted to get attention” and that “it was a tactic … that was just a ploy.”
“I was angry and I sent it out,” she added. She claimed that she was not in fact “Jane Doe” but that she did send the letter to Harris, adding, “I did that as a way to grab attention.”
Grassley told Sessions and Wray that the committee wants people to come forward with information relevant to its judicial nomination process.
“But when individuals intentionally mislead the committee, they divert committee resources during time-sensitive investigations and materially impede our work,” Grassley said. “Such acts are not only unfair; they are potentially illegal. It is illegal to make materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement.”
Potential violations of federal law include 18 U.S.C. §§ 1001 (materially false statements) and 1505 (obstruction), according to the committee.
Grassley referred another one of the women who claimed to be assaulted by Kavanaugh to Sessions and Wray in late October, along with her attorney.
Julie Swetnick, through her attorney, Michael Avenatti, accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct that allegedly took place in the 1980s. Her story of alleged gang rapes was referred to on the Senate floor by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who claimed they were credible.
But Grassley said that Swetnick’s allegation, which was detailed in a sworn statement to the committee, contained obvious contradictions.
One contradiction was only made public by NBC after Grassley referred Swetnick to the Department of Justice. The network interviewed a woman who Avenatti claimed was a witness to the events described by Swetnick, but when contacted later the woman denied being a witness.