WASHINGTON — The emergence of a third accuser on the eve of a high-stakes Senate hearing injected more uncertainty Wednesday into an already chaotic confirmation process for Judge Brett Kavanaugh, who continued to steadfastly deny allegations of sexual misconduct.

Julie Swetnick, a Washington resident represented by celebrity lawyer Michael Avenatti, said in a sworn declaration that President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee was physically abusive toward girls in high school and present at a house party in 1982 where she says she was the victim of a “gang rape.”

Kavanaugh dismissed the latest allegations as “ridiculous and from the Twilight Zone,” and Trump lashed out at both Avenatti and Senate Democrats, whom he accused of “bringing people out of the woods.”

In a tweet, Trump called Avenatti a “total low-life” and said he was “good at making false accusations, like he did on me.” Avenatti also represents Stormy Daniels, the adult film actress who was paid by a personal attorney for Trump to remain quiet about an alleged decade-old affair with Trump. Avenatti is also considering a 2020 Democratic presidential bid.

The circus-like atmosphere roiled Capitol Hill the day before Kavanaugh is scheduled to appear at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing along with Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused a drunken Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when both were teenagers at a house party in Montgomery County, Maryland.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said the hearing would take place as scheduled but hedged when asked on a phone call with Iowa reporters whether he still plans to hold a committee vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation on Friday.

The 10 Democrats on the committee, meanwhile, urged Trump to withdraw Kavanaugh’s’s nomination – something he showed no sign of doing – while Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., accused Democrats of dragging Kavanaugh and his family “right through the mud.”

Brett Kavanaugh

In his prepared testimony for Thursday’s Senate hearing, Kavanaugh says he was “not perfect” in high school and drank beer with friends but strongly denies having committed sexual assault.

“In retrospect, I said and did things in high school that make me cringe now,” he says, adding that “sometimes I had too many” when he drank beer.

But Kavanaugh says what he has been accused of by Ford is altogether different.

“What I’ve been accused of is far more serious than juvenile misbehavior,” Kavanaugh says in testimony released Wednesday by the Judiciary Committee. “I never did anything remotely resembling what Dr. Ford describes.”

In her declaration, Swetnick, who attended Gaithersburg High School in Maryland, said she observed Kavanaugh drinking excessively at house parties in the early 1980s and engaging “in abusive and physically aggressive behavior toward girls.”

The Washington Post has not independently verified her allegations.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., responds to questions from reporters about allegations of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, on Wednesday on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Swetnick said she witnessed efforts by Kavanaugh and others to get girls inebriated so they could be “gang raped” in side rooms at house parties by a “train” of numerous boys.

“I have a firm recollection of seeing boys lined up outside rooms at many of these parties waiting for their ‘turn’ with a girl inside the room,” she says. “These boys included Mark Judge and Brett Kavanaugh.”

Judge is a friend of Kavanaugh whom Ford said was present when she alleges Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her about 36 years ago.

In her declaration, Swetnick recounts an alleged incident in approximately 1982 in which she says she was the victim of a “gang rape” at which Kavanaugh was present.

She does not say Kavanaugh participated in the alleged rape or what, if any, role he played, nor does she say where the alleged episode took place.

“During the incident, I was incapacitated without my consent and unable to fight off the boys raping me,” Swetnick says. “I believe I was drugged using Quaaludes or something similar placed in what I was drinking.”

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, is surrounded by reporters asking her questions about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Wednesday on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Several Republican allies of Trump sought to discredit Swetnick by arguing it did not make sense for her to have attended multiple parties where Kavanaugh facilitate the assault of high school girls.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said he found it hard to believe that “any human being” would know about a culture of gang rape as violent as that described in Swetnick’s affidavit and “not say anything.”

This undated photo of Julie Swetnick was released by her attorney Michael Avenatti via Twitter on Wednesday. The Senate Judiciary Committee is reviewing allegations by Swetnick, accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, a panel spokesman said.

“If you’re going to parties where women are being raped for a two-year period, you have an obligation to go tell the cops, I really believe that,” he told reporters.

A Judiciary Committee spokesman said it would look into the allegations of Swetnick, as it is already doing related to accusations by Deborah Ramirez, a classmate of Kavanaugh’s at Yale University. Ramirez told the New Yorker magazine that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a party when they were both first-year students.

Ford has alleged that Kavanaugh drunkenly pinned her to a bed, groped her and put his hand over her mouth to stifle her screams as he tried to take off her clothes at a house party in the early 1980s.

Ahead of Thursday’s hearing, lawyers for both Ford and Kavanaugh jockeyed for advantage.

Attorneys for Ford sent four sworn declarations to the Judiciary Committee from people who say Ford told them of her allegations in the years before Trump nominated Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Also Wednesday, lawyers for Kavanaugh released five pages of his calendar from 1982 to news organizations in an attempt to bolster his contention that he was not at a house party with Ford 36 years ago.

The calendar, which has been shared with the Judiciary Committee, includes several weeks that summer, which were blocked out for trips to the beach and sports camps. It also includes references to him being grounded and planning to go to a friend’s house for “skis” – presumably a reference to “brewskis,” or beer.

In one of the declarations released by Ford’s lawyers on Wednesday, Adela Gildo-Mazzon, who describes herself as a good friend of Ford’s, said Ford shared her allegations about a sexual assault while the two were eating at a pizzeria in Mountain View, Calif.

“During our meal, Christine was visibly upset, so I asked her what was going on,” Gildo-Mazzon says. “Christine told me she had been having a hard day because she was thinking about an assault she experienced when she was much younger. She said that she had been almost raped by someone who was now a federal judge.”

Gildo-Mazzon says she contacted Ford’s lawyers after reading her account in a Washington Post story published on Sept. 16.

Another friend, Keith Koegler, says Ford told her in early summer 2016 of having experienced a sexual assault when she was much younger.

Koegler says while their children were playing together, Ford expressed anger about what she thought was a light sentence for a Stanford University student who had been convicted of sexual assault after raping an unconscious woman.

Koegler says Ford was “particularly bothered by it because she was assaulted in high school by a man who was now a federal judge in Washington, D.C.”

Shortly after Justice Anthony M. Kennedy resigned from the Supreme Court, Koegler says Ford shared in an email that Kavanaugh was her alleged attacker.

A third friend, Rebecca White, says in another declaration that she encountered Ford while walking her dog in 2017. White says Ford told her what happened as they discussed a social media post by White in which she wrote about her own experience with sexual assault.

During a television appearance Wednesday morning, Beth Wilkinson, a lawyer for Kavanaugh, declined to comment when asked what might motivate Ford to talk about Kavanaugh years before he was nominated.

“I’m not going to comment on her motivations,” Wilkinson said on CNN, adding that she felt sorry for Ford for having been identified as Kavanaugh’s accuser against her initial wishes.

On Twitter and in public comments, Trump strongly signaled Wednesday that he is standing by Kavanaugh, whose confirmation is a high priority for his conservative base.

“You don’t find people like this,” Trump said of his nominee while at United Nations headquarters in New York. “He’s outstanding. He’s a gem. He’s an absolute gem, and he’s been treated very unfairly by the Democrats, who are playing a con game. They know what they’re doing. It’s a con. They go into a backroom and they talk with each other and they laugh at what they’re getting away with.”

The Washington Post’s Gabriel Pogrund and Seung Min Kim contributed to this report.