Judy Munro-Leighton is accused by U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley of falsely claiming to have been raped by now Justice Brett Kavanaugh. According to Grassley, Munro-Leighton has now recanted.
Grassley claims that Munro-Leighton told Judiciary Committee investigators that she was the author of an anonymous letter making sexual misconduct accusations against Kavanaugh in the midst of the flurry of allegations against Kavanaugh during his confirmation process, all of which he denied. Kavanaugh was eventually confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court, and Grassley has referred three other people to the FBI since that time: accuser Julie Swetnick; her lawyer, Michael Avenatti; and a third man who recanted an accusation against the then-nominee. Here is the email Grassley says Munro-Leighton sent the Judiciary Committee:
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Grassley Is Asking the FBI & Department of Justice to Investigate Munro-Leighton
Grassley, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, sent a letter on November 2 to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director Chris Wray. You can read it above.
He wrote, “I am once again writing regarding fabricated allegations the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary recently received.”
He stated that many people “have provided the Committee information in good faith” and added “it unfortunately appears some have not.”
He referred Judy Munro-Leighton for “investigation of potential violations of” U.S. codes for alleged materially false statements and obstruction for “materially false statements she made to the Committee during the course of the Committee’s investigation.”
According to the Grassley letter:
On September 25, 2018, staffers for Senator Kamala Harris, a Committee member, referred an “undated handwritten letter to Committee investigators that her California office had received signed under the alias ‘Jane Doe’ from Oceanside, California.”
The letter “contained highly graphic sexual-assault accusations against Judge Kavanaugh. The anonymous accuser alleged that Justice Kavanaugh and a friend had raped her ‘several times each’ in the backseat of a car.”
According to the Grassley letter, in addition to being from an anonymous accuser, the “letter listed no return address, failed to provide any time frame, and failed to provide any location – beyond an automobile – in which these alleged incidents took place.”
Grassley wrote that the committee staff quickly began investigating the claims. On September 26, 2018, Kavanaugh was questioned about the allegations.
He stated that the “whole thing is ridiculous. Nothing ever – anything like that, nothing…” and the “whole thing is just a crock, farce, wrong, didn’t happen, not anything close.”
On October 3, 2018, Committee staff received an email from Judy Munro-Leighton with a subject line claiming “I am Jane Doe from Oceanside CA – Kavanaugh raped me,” according to Grassley’s letter.
She is accused of writing that she was “sharing with you the story of the night that Brett Kavanaugh and his friend sexually assaulted and raped me in his car” and referred to “the letter that I sent to Sen. Kamala Harris on Sept. 19 with details of this vicious assault,” the Grassley letter continues.
She continued, “I know that ‘Jane Doe’ will get no media attention, but I am deathly afraid of revealing my information about myself or my family” and included a typed version of the Jane Doe letter, according to Grassley.
2. Grassley Calls Judy Munro-Leighton a ‘Left-Wing Activist’
According to the Grassley letter, investigators located Judy Munro-Leighton and determined that she is, in the words of the letter:
1. A left-wing activist
2. Decades older than Judge Kavanaugh
3. Lives in neither Washington DC area nor California, but in Kentucky
The committee unsuccessfully tried to reach her by phone and eventually left a voicemail, receiving a response back on Nov. 1, 2018, says Grassley.
Committee investigators reached Munro-Leighton by phone on Nov. 1, 2018 and spoke with her about the allegations. She admitted, contrary to her prior claims, that she had “not been sexually assaulted by Judge Kavanaugh and was not the author of the original ‘Jane Doe’ Letter. When directly asked by Committee investigators if she was, as she had claimed, the ‘Jane Doe’ from Oceanside California who had sent the letter to Senator Harris, she admitted, ‘No, no, no. I did that as a way to grab attention. I am not Jane Doe…but I did read Jane Doe’s letter. I read the transcript of the call to your committee… I saw it online. It was news,’” the Grassley letter claims.
3. Munro-Leighton Is Accused of Telling Committee Investigators She ‘Just Wanted to Get Attention’
Munro-Leighton is accused of confessing to Committee investigators that she “just wanted to get attention” and said “it was a tactic” and “that was just a ploy,” Grassley wrote.
She told Committee investigators that she had “called Congress multiple times during the Kavanaugh hearing process – including prior to the time Dr. Ford’s allegations surfaced – to oppose his nomination,” states the letter.
She allegedly said, “I was angry, and I sent it out.” When asked if she had ever met Judge Kavanaugh, she said, “Oh Lord, no,” Grassley’s letter says.
According to Grassley’s letter, “Mrs. Munro-Leighton submitted fabricated allegation, which diverted Committee resources. When questioned by Committee investigators she admitted it was false, a ‘ploy,’ and a ‘tactic.’”
Grassley added, “when individuals intentionally mislead the Committee, they divert Committee resources during time-sensitive investigations and materially impede our work. Such acts are not only unfair; they are potentially illegal. It is illegal to make materially false, fictitious or fraudulent statements to Congressional investigators. It is illegal to obstruct Committee investigations.”
He asked Sessions and Wray to “give this referral the utmost consideration.”
4. Munro-Leighton Was a Protester Against the Iraq War, Reports Say
Online records turn up only one Judy Munro-Leighton in the country, indeed in Kentucky. She is 70-years-old. A Facebook page in her name is deleted. She has lived in the Louisville area.
A 2005 Washington Post article defined Judy Munro-Leighton as a history teacher who was organizing protests against the Iraq War. The article says that, according to Munro-Leighton, “The Louisville Peace Action Community staffed a booth two years ago at the Kentucky State Fair… and supporters of the war stopped to berate them. That rarely happens now, she said.”
The book, Blue Dixie: Awakening the South’s Democratic Majority, says that Judy Munro-Leighton discussed Representative Anne Northup refusing to meet with antiwar constituents in 2003. Activists “posted ‘Missing’ posters with smiling images of Northup around the city, noting that she ‘Answers to Bush,”’ the book said. According to Munro-Leighton, they staked out the Northrup home for 73 Sundays. “We had a cardboard Bush with a bubble to show he was speaking, and we changed the message weekly to ‘I love Anne’ or ‘My War’s Going Great!’ or ‘I Sold the Country,’” the book quotes Munro-Leighton as saying.
She also co-authored a newsletter that described anti-war activists’ efforts being archived. The pull quote with the article reads, “we are proud that we persevered…. We are honored to have a record of our anti-war activities archived….” She was quoted in an old article in The Nation on her anti-war activism.
Brett Kavanaugh and his wife Ashley both served in the George W. Bush administration, and Bush nominated him to the Court of Appeals.
5. Judy Munro-Leighton Has Given Money to Democratic Candidates
According to the Federal Election Commission, Judy Munro-Leighton is a prolific campaign donor to Democratic candidates in small amounts.
Her donations include several Congressional candidates, including Beto O’Rourke, the challenger of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz.
In 2016, she donated small amounts to Hillary for America. In 2014, her campaign donations listed her as a then professor at Jefferson Community College (the college website does not list her now), but recent donations list her as not employed. She has also given numerous small donations to Obama for America.