The Senate Judiciary Committee is reviewing allegations by a third woman Julie Swetnick accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, in yet another potential blow to his prospects for Senate confirmation.

Kavanaugh was handpicked by Donald Trump for the lifelong post on the Supreme Court and has continued to enjoy the president's steadfast backing despite the allegations against him.
Kavanaugh was handpicked by Donald Trump for the lifelong post on the Supreme Court and has continued to enjoy the president's steadfast backing despite the allegations against him. (Reuters Archive)

A new woman came forward on Wednesday with explosive revelations about Brett Kavanaugh, saying she witnessed sexually abusive behaviour by the US Supreme Court nominee and claiming that she was gang-raped at a party Kavanaugh attended in the early 1980s.

Lawyer Michael Avenatti sent the allegations made by his client, Julie Swetnick, to the Senate Judiciary Committee conducting Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing and demanded an FBI investigation into the claims.

Avenatti, Swetnick's lawyer, is the attorney for Stormy Daniels, the porn star who claimed to have had a sexual encounter with Trump more than a decade ago.

TRT World's Lionel Donovan reports.

Senate hearing

The Senate committee is scheduled to hear testimony on Thursday from another woman who accuses Kavanaugh of sexual assault and conduct a vote on his nomination on Friday, but the latest revelations threaten to derail the already turbulent process.

A spokesman for the Senate Judiciary Committee said lawyers for the panel were reviewing the declaration submitted by Swetnick, who said she has worked extensively for the federal government, including the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service.

Kavanaugh categorically denied Swetnick's claims.

"This is ridiculous and from the Twilight Zone," said the 53-year-old judge, in a statement issued by the White House. 

"I don't know who this is, and this never happened."

Previous allegations

The bombshell new claims come after two women came forward to accuse the judge of assaulting them in the 1980s, in a scandal that has tripped up what was expected to be an easy confirmation process for the conservative judge.

California university professor Christine Blasey Ford was to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday about her accusation that Kavanaugh assaulted her at a high school party when they were both teenagers.

The US Senate's top Democrat Chuck Schumer demanded on Wednesday that Republicans "immediately suspend" the confirmation process.

"I strongly believe Judge Kavanaugh should withdraw from consideration," Schumer said in a statement. 

"If he will not, at the very least, the hearing and vote should be postponed while the FBI investigates all of these allegations."

Kavanaugh also stands accused of exposing himself to a classmate, Deborah Ramirez, causing her to touch him without consent, during an alcohol-fueled Yale University party a few years later.

'Last minute smears'

Kavanaugh, in prepared testimony released on Wednesday, repeated his denial of Blasey Ford's allegation.

"Over the past few days, other false and uncorroborated accusations have been aired," he added. 

"These are last minute smears, pure and simple," Kavanaugh said.

"I will not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process," he said. "This effort to destroy my good name will not drive me out."

Trump repeats support

Kavanaugh was handpicked by Donald Trump for the lifelong post on the Supreme Court and has continued to enjoy the president's steadfast backing despite the allegations against him.

As Trump repeated his support for Kavanaugh on Wednesday, calling him "outstanding" and an "absolute gem," four people released affidavits claiming that Blasey Ford had told them about the alleged sexual assault prior to his nomination for the Supreme Court.

Trump tweeted that Avenatti was a "third-rate lawyer" pushing "false accusations." He has described the previous allegations as a Democratic "con job."

Source: TRTWorld and agencies