Saturday, October 06, 2018
Senate Democrats believed they had Brett Kavanaugh on the ropes. Christine Blasey Ford had just revealed her identity and was prepared to testify in public, detailing her allegations that Kavanaugh had tried to sexual assault her more than three decades ago. On top of that, a second woman, Deborah Ramirez, was accusing Kavanaugh of exposing his genitals to her while they were college students.
Then came Michael Avenatti and his client's claims of gang rape parties.
But the eye-popping nature of those claims suddenly gave Republicans an opportunity to shift the narrative and make a broader case that the growing accusations of sexual misconduct amounted to an orchestrated Democratic smear campaign.
A host of Democratic senators and senior aides told CNN that the allegations from Avenatti's client gave the GOP an opening to conflate -- and dismiss -- all the allegations in one broad brush.
"Democrats and the country would have been better off if Mr. Avenatti spent his time on his Iowa vanity project rather than meddling in Supreme Court fights," a senior Senate Democratic aide fumed, referring to Avenatti toying with the idea of seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. "His involvement set us back, absolutely."
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