Senate panel asks DOJ to investigate 'fabricated allegation' against Kavanaugh

Senate panel asks DOJ to investigate 'fabricated allegation' against Kavanaugh
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Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyTreasury expands penalty relief to more taxpayers Overnight Health Care: Senators seek CBO input on preventing surprise medical bills | Oversight panel seeks OxyContin documents | Pharmacy middlemen to testify on prices | Watchdog warns air ambulances can put patients at 'financial risk' Drug prices are a matter of life and death MORE (R-Iowa) on Friday asked the Justice Department (DOJ) to investigate a "fabricated allegation" against newly minted Supreme Court Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughGOP eager to exploit Dem court-packing fight Court-packing becomes new litmus test on left Warren, Harris, Gillibrand back efforts to add justices to Supreme Court MORE from a woman identified as Judy Munro-Leighton. 

Grassley, in a letter to Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsMueller's investigation ends, but divisive political circus will continue Mueller delivers report to Justice, ending investigation Trump says 'people will not stand' for Mueller report MORE and FBI Director Christopher Wray, wrote that Munro-Leighton admitted to the committee on Nov. 1 that she previously lied about an allegation that Kavanaugh and a friend raped her in the backseat of a car. 

Grassley requested that Munro-Leighton be investigated for making "materially false statements" and for obstruction of the committee's investigation into misconduct claims against Kavanaugh.

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He wrote that Munro-Leighton said she “just wanted to get attention," "it was a tactic" and it "was just a ploy" when investigators pressed her on Friday. 

"Under questioning by Committee investigators, Ms. Munro-Leighton admitted, contrary to her prior claims, that she had not been sexually assaulted by Judge Kavanaugh,” Grassley wrote.

Investigators began looking into Munro-Leighton's allegations at the beginning of October, after she sent an email to the committee claiming she was the woman who sent an anonymous letter to Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisKamala Harris to pitch using federal funds to give teachers pay raises Dem senator: 'Appropriate' for Barr, Mueller to testify publicly about Russia probe Here's what the Dem candidates for president said about the Mueller report MORE (D-Calif.) in late September alleging Kavanaugh raped her.

"Ms. Munro-Leighton wrote that she was 'sharing with you the story of the night that Brett Kavanaugh and his friend sexually assaulted and raped me in his car' and referred to 'the letter that I sent to Sen. Kamala Harris on Sept. 19 with details of this vicious assault,'" Grassley wrote. "She continued: 'I know that Jane Doe will get no media attention, but I am deathly afraid of revealing any information about myself or my family,' " he continued, adding that Munro-Leighton included a typed version of the Jane Doe letter.

According to Grassley, committee investigators used "open-source research" to track down information about Munro-Leighton. He wrote that investigators were not able to contact her via multiple attempts in October, noting that she left them a voicemail on Nov. 1.

She later told the committee that she was not the author of the anonymous letter, attributed to a "Jane Doe." Munro-Leighton, according to Grassley's letter, said she first learned of the anonymous allegation when she read a transcript of investigators grilling Kavanaugh about anonymous allegations from Jane Doe, who was later revealed to be Christine Blasey Ford. Kavanaugh denied all such allegations. 

Grassley wrote that, when committee investigators asked her if she was the Jane Doe from California who sent the letter to Harris, Munro-Leighton replied, "No, no, no. I did that as a way to grab attention. I am not Jane Doe ... but I did read Jane Doe’s letter. I read the transcript of the call to your Committee ... I saw it online. It was news.” 

"She further confessed to Committee investigators that (1) she 'just wanted to get attention'; (2) 'it was a tactic'; and (3) 'that was just a ploy.' She told Committee investigators that she had called Congress multiple times during the Kavanaugh hearing process — including prior to the time Dr. Ford’s allegations surfaced — to oppose his nomination," Grassley wrote.

Munro-Leighton said she never met Kavanaugh. 

President TrumpDonald John TrumpMueller report findings could be a 'good day' for Trump, Dem senator says Trump officials heading to China for trade talks next week Showdown looms over Mueller report MORE on Saturday weighed in, tweeting, "A vicious accuser of Justice Kavanough [sic] has just admitted that she was lying, her story was totally made up, or FAKE!" 

"Can you imagine if he didn’t become a Justice of the Supreme Court because of her disgusting False Statements," Trump continued. "What about the others? Where are the Dems on this?" 

He later deleted that tweet and reposted the message with the correct spelling of Kavanaugh's name.

Trump, throughout the hearings, expressed sympathy for Kavanaugh, saying at one point that his reaction was influenced by the fact that he has also faced allegations of sexual misconduct, all of which he has denied.

Kavanaugh's confirmation was roiled by multiple allegations of sexual misconduct, including from three women who went public with their accusations. California psychology professor Christine Blasey Ford testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee about her allegation that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her during a high school party in the 1980s. He unequivocally denied all accounts. 

Grassley, last week, announced that he is referring Julie Swetnick and her lawyer Michael Avenatti to the DOJ for a potential criminal investigation into whether they made false statements to Congress about Swetnick's allegations against Kavanaugh.

Kavanaugh was confirmed to the high court last month.