1/ In a sworn declaration, a third accuser said that between 1981 and 1983 she witnessed efforts by Brett Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge to get girls "inebriated and disorientated" so they could be "gang raped" in side rooms at house parties by a "train" of boys who were lined up and waiting for their "turn" inside the room. Julie Swetnick swore that Kavanaugh and Judge would "'spike' the 'punch' at house parties" with "drugs and/or grain alcohol," and that she witnessed Kavanaugh "being overly aggressive with girls," not taking "No" for an answer, and being "verbally abusive towards girls by making crude sexual comments" intended to demean them. In her declaration, Swetnick describes an incident in 1982 in which she alleges she was the victim of a "gang rape" Kavanaugh was present for. "During the incident, I was incapacitated without my consent and unable to fight off the boys raping me," Swetnick says. "I believe I was drugged using Quaaludes or something similar placed in what I was drinking." Kavanaugh's first accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, said Judge was present when Kavanaugh allegedly sexually assaulted her 36 years ago. All 10 Democrats on the Judiciary Committee called for Trump to "immediately withdraw the nomination or order an FBI investigation into all the allegations." (New York Times / CNBC / Washington Post / Wall Street Journal / CNN / Yahoo News / ABC News)

  • Read the sworn declaration by Kavanaugh accuser Julie Swetnick: "In approximately 1982, I became the victim of one of those "gang" or "train" rapes where Mark Judge and Brett Kavanaugh were present." (NBC News)

2/ Kavanaugh dismissed Swetnick's allegations as "ridiculous and from the Twilight Zone," claiming he is the victim of "grotesque and obvious character assassination." "I don't know who this is and this never happened," Kavanaugh said. In prepared testimony ahead of Thursday's Senate hearing, Kavanaugh admits that he was "not perfect" in high school and "in retrospect, I said and did things in high school that make me cringe now." Kavanaugh denied Ford's allegation "immediately, unequivocally, and categorically." (Washington Post / New York Times / Politico)

  • Full transcript: Brett Kavanaugh's opening statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee. (Politico)

3/ Trump attacked Michael Avenatti as a "third rate lawyer" who is "making false accusations" because he's "looking for attention." Avenatti also represents Stormy Daniels, who was paid by Trump's personal attorney to remain quiet about an affair she allegedly had with Trump a decade ago. Trump capped off the tweet by calling Avenatti "a total low-life!" Avenatti responded by calling Trump a "habitual liar and complete narcissist" and a "disgrace as a president." (The Hill)

4/ Kavanaugh's second accuser is willing to testify publicly before the Senate Judiciary Committee, her attorney said. Deborah Ramirez's lawyer expressed concern about her testifying before the FBI is able to conduct an investigation into her claims, saying "we can't even talk to the Senate Judiciary Committee about what that would look like" because "they certainly haven't invited her" to testify. Senate Republicans blew off a scheduled phone call yesterday to discuss Ramirez's claims that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her when they were in college. (Axios / The Hill / CNN / Good Morning America)

5/ Republican senators on the Judiciary Committee selected Arizona prosecutor Rachel Mitchell to question Kavanaugh and Ford. Mitchell is chief of the special victims division of the Maricopa County Attorney's Office, where she has worked for 26 years. Dr. Ford will testify under oath on Thursday, and Kavanaugh will testify separately later in the day. (Washington Post / New York Times)

  • Senate Democrats have had no contact with Christine Blasey Ford ahead of her Senate Judiciary Committee testimony on Thursday. Ford's attorneys have been in contact with aides from both parties, but there has been no coordination between Ford's camp and Democratic senators on the Judiciary Committee. (Politico)

  • Ford's attorneys have sworn and signed declarations from four people she told about her claims of sexual assault by Kavanaugh dating back to 2012. The documents were sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee. (USA Today)

  • Jeff Flake said he does not believe that Kavanaugh is a "serial sexual predator," but called on the Senate Judiciary Committee to have an open mind because both Kavanaugh and Ford are "human beings." (USA Today / Politico)

6/ A Democratic senator is seeking an injunction to stop a full Senate vote on Kavanaugh's nomination, citing "unprecedented obstruction of the Senate's advice and consent obligation" by the White House and Mitch McConnell. Jeff Merkley argued the handling of Kavanaugh's nomination is "an assault on the separation of powers" and violates the Constitution because the White House has interfered with the Senate's responsibility by blocking access to documents and labeling some "committee confidential." Merkley's filing is unlikely to succeed in stopping the vote. (Politico / The Hill)

  • Chuck Grassley has scheduled a committee vote on the nomination for Friday and Mitch McConnell is planning to keep the Senate in session this weekend so he can begin the process of bringing Kavanaugh's nomination up for a final vote early next week. Senate Democrats accused Grassley and McConnell of pre-judging Ford's testimony before they heard it. (Politico)

  • Sen. Dianne Feinstein accused Kavanaugh of misleading the Senate about his handling of grand jury secrets during his time working for Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr in the late nineties. Feinstein charges that by directing officials to speak to reporters during the Bill Clinton investigation, Kavanaugh may have violated grand jury secrecy laws, even though he told Sens. Feinstein and Whitehouse during his testimony earlier this month that he never broke those rules. (Politico / The Hill)

poll/ 59% of Americans oppose Kavanaugh's confirmation if Ford's claims are true, while 29% said they would support his confirmation either way. Among Democratic men, 54% believe Ford. 57% of Republican women believe Kavanaugh. (NPR / Marist / PBS NewsHour)

poll/ 49% of Americans ages 15-34 say they are anxious about the midterm elections, 36% say they feel helpless, and 24% say they are proud. Overall, 64% of young Americans say they're interested in the upcoming elections. (Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research)


Notables

  1. Trump told advisers he is open to keeping Rod Rosenstein as deputy attorney general and that he wants to hear directly from Rosenstein about reports that he discussed secretly recording the president and recruiting cabinet members to remove him from office. (Wall Street Journal)

  2. Rudy Giuliani posed for pictures with a Canadian white nationalist mayoral candidate. Faith Goldy is a far-right YouTuber running for mayor in Toronto. She posted photos with Giuliani to her Instagram on Tuesday and tweeted about the encounter: "Just like Giuliani cleaned up the streets of NYC, our tough on crime playbook is going to run illegal guns & gangs right out of Toronto!" (Daily Beast)

  3. Former national security adviser H. R. McMaster called it "wholly appropriate" for Gary Cohn to remove documents from Trump's desk. Cohn removed a letter from Trump's desk that would have pulled the U.S. out of a trade agreement with South Korea. (Washington Examiner)

  4. The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency spent $150,000 on government vehicles for personal use to travel to his home in North Carolina and drive him and his family around Hawaii. Kirstjen Nielsen ordered Brock Long to repay the government "as appropriate." (Wall Street Journal)

  5. Sen. Orrin Hatch weighed in on a Supreme Court case that could prevent state and federal courts from prosecuting someone for the same crime. Hatch filed a brief on Sept. 11 in which he says the doctrine should be overturned. Overturning the dual-sovereignty doctrine established in Gamble v. United States would theoretically allow Trump to pardon people like Manafort for his federal crimes and simultaneously protect him from actions at the state level. (The Atlantic)

  6. The EPA placed the head of the Office of Children's Health Protection on administrative leave. The children's health office is tasked with regulations and programs that account for the vulnerabilities of children, babies and fetuses. An EPA spokesman declined to give a reason for the action. (New York Times)

  7. Trump backed down from his threat to shut down the government if Congress didn't appropriate money for his border wall, saying "we're going to keep the government open." Trump previously called the bipartisan spending bill "ridiculous." (Washington Post)

  8. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said he's hearing a "rising chorus of concerns" from businesses about Trump's trade war with China. On Monday, Trump's 10% tariffs on about $200 billion of imports from China took effect. In retaliation, China instituted tariffs on U.S. goods worth $60 billion. (CNBC)

  9. Trump accused China of interfering in the midterm elections, telling the United Nations Security Council that "they do not want me or us to win, because I am the first president to ever challenge China on trade." (New York Times)

Note: My browser crashed before I could save my last WTFJHT update. I'm not even sure what I lost. So instead of pulling my hair out, we're just going to end here. For the latest, visit Current Status.


🗳 Register to Vote. Yesterday was National Voter Registration Day and thanks to Trump's helpful tweet "REMEMBER THE MIDTERMS!", here's your WTF reminder to register to vote today.

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  2. If you haven't registered, use vote.org, TurboVote, or pick up a registration form at your local post office or library.