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Sen. Orrin Hatch faces backlash for releasing a letter attacking Kavanaugh accuser

Posted at 5:36 PM, Oct 03, 2018

SALT LAKE CITY - Utah senator Orrin Hatch is facing backlash Wednesday for tweeting the account of a Utah man, who says he dated one of Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s accusers.

Dennis Ketterer sent a statement to the senate judiciary committee, detailing a relationship with Julie Swetnick and questioning her claims against the supreme court nominee.

Ketterer remembers hearing Swetnick's name on the news last week.

“I felt like I got kicked in the gut and stabbed in the heart,” Ketterer said.

Ketterer said he met Swetnick at a party back in 1993 when he was working as a weatherman at a local TV station in Washington, DC.

“She was fun and funny. She was smart, but I also picked up over the course of our meetings that if I weren't on TV doing weather and being fairly well known she wouldn't have had anything to do with me and I think anybody could've seen that,” Ketterer said.

Ketterer said the two had a relationship that lasted a few weeks, even though he was married. He claims that during that time, Swetnick shared some details about her sex life. Details that make him now question the legitimacy of her sex assault allegation against Brett Kavanaugh.

“In this particular case, there's reason to doubt the credibility of what she had to say,” Ketterer said.

Ketterer was interviewed by the senate judiciary committee's investigative unit and wrote a sworn statement, which Senator Hatch tweeted out on Tuesday.

“I didn't know he was going to do that. It would've been fine,” Ketterer said.

Many have responded with outrage, including the left-leaning Alliance for a Better Utah which said in part, "sharing salacious details about Swetnick's personal life on twitter is a blatant slut-shaming attempt to discredit her character."

“Is it slut shaming? I think that's an argument that people use when they want everyone just to simply be believed and let it go away and how dare you. That's probably more of a political thing,” Ketterer said.

Swetnick's attorney has called Ketterer's allegations garbage, demanding an FBI interview for both him and his client.

“I live 20 minutes from the downtown FBI office. Come visit. Interview me,” Ketterer said.

Mara Haight, the Executive Director of Salt Lake's Rape Recovery Center, said the accuser's personal life is not relevant to her claims.

“There's an ugly history of making a correlation between whether or not a survivor is believable and their sexual history or sexual practices and what we know is those two things are not related,” Haight said.

Ketterer said he was only shaming himself by coming forward with this information, revealing to the world that he was unfaithful to his wife.

“I just did what I had to do. I did the right thing and I stand behind that but at the same time I don't get any joy out of it,” Ketterer said.

Senator Hatch's office is defending the release of Ketterer's comments on Twitter, saying it was part of an effort to ensure transparency during the confirmation process.

You can read the specific claims here.