Attorney Michael Avenatti took President Donald Trump to task after he, speaking at a rally in Mississippi last night, openly mocked Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, the Stanford University professor who alleges Brett Kavanaugh, his Supreme Court nominee, sexually assaulted her at a party in high school.
"Call him what he is - a misogynist pig with no respect for women," Avenatti wrote, in part.
Many concurred, and at least one person suggested that the president should be subject to Congressional censure.
Avenatti is only the latest to condemn the president, who sought to poke holes in Dr. Ford’s account by acting out parts from last week’s hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“I had one beer!” Trump said, characterizing Ford’s testimony about her level of intoxication at the time of the attack.
“How did you get home?” the president asked, taking on the role of prosecutor.
“I don’t remember,” he said in his Ford voice.
“How did you get there?” Trump continued, reverting to his role as prosecutor.
“I don’t remember,” he replied in the Ford voice.
The president then mockingly asked and answered a series of questions with the responses “I don’t remember” and “I don’t know.” The crowd laughed and cheered behind him. A woman seated behind him held up a bright pink “Women for Trump” sign.
Last week, Trump lashed out at Avenatti shortly after Avenatti revealed the identity of his client, Julie Swetnick, who became the third woman to come forward with sexual assault claims against Kavanaugh.
The president, seeking to undermine allegations brought forward by Dr. Ford and Deborah Ramirez, a Yale classmate of Kavanaugh's who says he exposed himself to her during a fraternity party, called Avenatti “a third rate lawyer who is good at making false accusations” against him and “is just looking for attention.”
Avenatti soon responded, and he took particular umbrage at the president’s claim that he has leveled false accusations.
“Like those crimes your fixer Cohen pled to?” Avenatti asked, referencing former Trump attorney and fixer Michael Cohen, who last month pleaded guilty to eight criminal counts––five charges of felony tax evasion, two counts of campaign finance violations, and one count of bank fraud––in a case which vindicated Avenatti’s client, the adult film actress Stormy Daniels, whom for so many months the president and Cohen had maligned. Cohen said that he made the payments at Trump’s behest to buy Daniels’s silence and influence the 2016 presidential election.
Others accused the president of projection, pointing out that he has been accused of sexual harassment and assault by numerous women, and that he has a long history of defending men accused of sexual assault, a list which includes Kavanaugh, former White House staff secretary Rob Porter, embattled Republican candidate Roy Moore, and Fox News host Bill O’Reilly.
Avenatti is only the latest to slam the president over the way he mocked Dr. Ford at his rally last night; his behavior also earned harsh rebukes from politicians from both sides of the aisle, including Senator Jeff Flake, (R-AZ), who called his comments "appalling." The display also received condemnation from Michael R. Bromwich, a former Department of Justice official who now represents Dr. Ford.
The president’s comments constitute “A vicious, vile and soulless attack on Dr. Ford” Bromwich said, in part.
The president has been accused of sexual assault by at least 14 women; his behavior has been intensely scrutinized in light of numerous lawsuits filed against him and the existence of an “Access Hollywood” recording from 2005 in which he bragged openly about grabbing women “by the pussy.”
The president’s comments were especially jarring because although he had questioned the veracity of Dr. Ford’s account, he had appeared to apply restraint, at one point referring to her as a “credible witness.”
Last week, the president fired back at reports that he and his administration are limiting the scope of the FBI’s investigation into the sexual misconduct allegations leveled at Kavanaugh.
Despite this, during a press conference held to announce a new trade deal with Canada and Mexico, Trump did say that it “wouldn’t bother me” if FBI investigators talked with all three women who have leveled allegations against his nominee. He did stress, however, that the bureau must “go quickly” because Kavanaugh has “been treated horribly” and he’s been the victim of a “very unfair” process.
Calls for an FBI investigation had only continued to mount despite opposition from both Senate Republicans and the White House. Attorneys for Dr. Ford insisted that the FBI should investigate her allegation despite pushback from Republicans who have claimed that to initiate an investigation would significantly delay a vote which has already been postponed. This reasoning has already been shown to be faulty: The FBI investigation of Anita Hill’s allegations that Justice Thomas sexually harassed her when he was her supervisor at the United States Department of Education and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission only took three days.
President Trump has remained steadfast, however, and he has not shied away from dismissing allegations of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh as “totally political.”