President Donald Trump took a swipe at Michael Avenatti on Wednesday, saying the attorney for a third accuser of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is “good at making false accusations” and “a total low-life!”
The new accuser, in a sworn affidavit, claims Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her and lined up for gang rapes during high school parties. Kavanaugh denies the allegations, saying in a statement that “this is ridiculous and from the Twilight Zone. I don’t know who this is and this never happened.”
“Avenatti is a third-rate lawyer who is good at making false accusations, like he did on me and like he is now doing on Judge Brett Kavanaugh,” Trump tweeted from a UN luncheon event Wednesday. “He is just looking for attention and doesn’t want people to look at his past record and relationships — a total low-life!”
Avenatti is a third rate lawyer who is good at making false accusations, like he did on me and like he is now doing on Judge Brett Kavanaugh. He is just looking for attention and doesn’t want people to look at his past record and relationships - a total low-life!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 26, 2018
Later, asked at a photo opportunity with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is Kavanaugh’s accusers were lying, Trump responded, “What’s your next question?”
He also took another swipe at Avenatti.
“If you look at this lawyer that just came out, he is a low-life,” Trump said. “He represented Democrats. Nobody ever talks about that. He is a Democrat lawyer. Not a very good one, but he is a Democrat lawyer.”
Trump also slammed Democrats in Congress over the allegations and predicted voters will side with Republicans in November.
“I think it’s ridiculous. It’s a con game that they’re playing,” he said. “I think you’re going to see it in the midterms.”
Avenatti also represents adult film actor and director Stormy Daniels (real name Stephanie Clifford), who has alleged Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, paid her to remain silent about a consensual sexual relationship she had with then-businessman and -reality show personality Trump. Despite the president’s Twitter claim, Daniels’ accusations have not been disproved.
Avenatti responded to a report that aides in the White House said the the newest allegations could be the “end of the line” for Kavanaugh, saying the reports showed “how incompetent the WH is.”
In the affidavit, Julie Swetnick claims Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a party when he was 17 years old. Swetnick describes parties in 1981 to 1983 where she saw Kavanaugh and his friend, Mark Judge, drink excessively, fondle and grab girls without their consent, and be aggressive with girls and not take “no” for an answer.
In his prepared opening statement for a Thursday Senate Judiciary hearing that also will feature testimony from his first accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, Kavanaugh again denied all allegations against him.
“There has been a frenzy to come up with something — anything, no matter how far-fetched or odious — that will block a vote on my nomination. These are last minute smears, pure and simple,” he will say Thursday.
Watch: Flake Pleads With Senate —Don't Make Up Minds Before Thursday's Kavanaugh, Ford Hearing
Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley would not take a stand on Avenatti’s involvement in the high-stakes Supreme Court nomination.
“I suppose I’m supposed to be up on every lawyer that’s involved here and I only know him as what I’ve read in the paper,” the Iowa Republican said Wednesday. “I don’t know what his reputation as a lawyer is. So how can I draw a conclusion. But really what’s important here isn’t the lawyer. What’s important is the person who claims she’s been harmed.”
Grassley also indicated the Thursday hearing is still on.
“We are proceeding the same way that we’ve been proceeding since the [Sunday] Washington Post story. Every time that there’s been accusations made, we’ve tried to follow up where we could get a contact,” he said. “So obviously this morning we had this contact and our investigators were on it immediately and I can’t say anything beyond that.”
Watch: McConnell, Schumer Floor Debate Gets Personal Over Kavanaugh Nomination
Jennifer Shutt and Todd Ruger contributed to this report.