It is illegal to make materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statements to Congressional investigators.
The man, whose name has been redacted from the committee’s letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, alleged that Kavanaugh together with another man sexually assaulted a woman on a boat at Newport, Rhode Island, in 1985. The accuser said that he recognized Kavanaugh from a yearbook he saw in a TV broadcast and relayed his allegations to Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) on September 24. The claim immediately spurred an investigation by the committee.
“Committee staff took the allegations seriously and asked Judge Kavanaugh numerous questions about it under penalty of felony during an interview on September 25,” the committee chairman, Chuck Grassley, wrote in a letter to the FBI and the DOJ.
In the transcript of the phone call between the committee’s investigators and Kavanaugh, the judge flatly denied the newly-surfaced allegations as “completely made up” and “ridiculous.”
While the name of the account’s holder had been redacted from the record, he was promptly identified as Jeffrey Catalan, as his account’s description and Twitter feed completely match those cited in the transcript.
After the transcript was made public, Catalan recanted his allegations in a tweet. “I have made a mistake and apologize for such mistake,” he wrote on September 26.
— Jeffrey Catalan (@JeffreyCatala16) September 26, 2018
Grassley pointed out that “fabricated allegations” impeded the work of the committee “during the time-sensitive investigation.”
Such acts are not only unfair; they are potentially illegal. It is illegal to make false, fictitious, or fraudulent statements to Congressional investigation. It is illegal to obstruct Committee investigation.
Grassley went on to write that he hopes the DOJ and the FBI investigators “will give this referral the utmost consideration.”
Catalan’s Twitter feed in itself is quite peculiar and is filled with anti-Trump rants.
For instance, on July 8, he tweeted: “Dear Pentagon, please save my country from the parasite that occupies the White House. Our you waiting until Russians parachute in like in Red Dawn? Please help!”
Please save my country from the parasite that occupies the White house? Our you waiting until Russians parachute in like in Red Dawn ? Please help! !!!!!!!!!!
— Jeffrey Catalan (@JeffreyCatala16) July 9, 2018
On August 20, he posted a picture of a solar eclipse with the caption: “This is what Trump is trying to do. Block the truth seeing the light of the day.”
This is what Trump is trying to do. Block the truth seeing the light of day. pic.twitter.com/cU857dlId3
— Jeffrey Catalan (@JeffreyCatala16) August 20, 2018
Before Catalan disavowed his claims the story hit the headlines of all US mainstream media.
Are you really shocked at this point? Their own sources have recanted their false bombshells and CNN still pretends they’re fact. https://t.co/00EbScAt7e
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) September 27, 2018