Orrin Hatch under fire for “slutshaming” Kavanaugh accuser with release of ex-boyfriend’s letter

This article originally appeared in the Salon. Read it in its entirety here. 

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, is under fire for a Twitter post that seemed to slut-shame one of the women who has accused Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s pick to serve on the Supreme Court, of sexually inappropriate behavior.

The controversy arose after Hatch posted a link to a four-page letter received by the Senate Judiciary Committee by a former congressional candidate named Dennis Ketterer. In his tweet, Hatch claimed that “a Utah man named Dennis Ketterer reached out to the Hatch office this week with information about accuser Julie Swetnick, and her allegations against Judge Kavanaugh.”

Ketterer’s letter describes meeting Julie Swetnick, a woman who claims that she witnessed Kavanaugh “drink excessively and engage in highly inappropriate conduct” such as “fondling and grabbing of girls without their consent,” “not taking ‘No’ for an answer” and being among the “boys lined up outside rooms at many of these parties waiting for their ‘turn’ with a girl inside the room.” Swetnick has not claimed to have been personally violated by Kavanaugh, but was adamant in her affidavit that she witnessed those events happen.

The Alliance for a Better Utah also denounced Hatch, saying in a prepared statement by communications director Katie Matheson that “sharing salacious details about Swetnick’s personal life on Twitter is a blatant ‘slut-shaming’ attempt to discredit her character in the court of public opinion. We would hope Hatch would be more concerned with getting at the truth than with discrediting women accusing Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct,” according to the Salt Lake City Tribune.

In addition, Hatch wrote an editorial that was published in The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, one that characterized the criticism of Kavanaugh’s responses as being in themselves motivated more by partisanship than concern for the integrity of the court.

This article originally appeared in the Salon. Read it in its entirety here. 

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