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Constitutional Freedoms

Expert Calls Kavanaugh Accuser’s Polygraph Test ‘Unbelievable’

University of Maryland's Thomas Mauriello said Christine Blasey Ford exam was useless without specific questions, each on a 'single issue'

Christine Blasey Ford’s (pictured above left) polygraph test on her sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh (above right) is “unbelievable,” former Department of Defense polygraph examiner Thomas Mauriello said Wednesday night on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle.”

“The problem is simple. For the polygraph to be somewhat valid … it needs to be a single-issue test,” said Mauriello, who manages the Teaching Crime Laboratory at the University of Maryland’s Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, where he also lectures.

Ford’s lawyers released the results of her polygraph test Wednesday. Former FBI agent Jeremiah Hanafin administered the test, taken August 7.

The polygraph test consisted of two questions about a statement Ford drafted with her lawyers, in which she summarized her allegations: “Is any part of your statement false?” and “Did you make up any part of your statement?” Ford answered “no” to both questions.

But Ford’s statement contained discrepancies compared with the contents of the letter she wrote to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) in July outlining her sexual assault allegations. In Ford’s handwritten statement, she said “there were four boys and a couple of girls” at the party. But the Feinstein letter said the party “included me and four others.”

Ford became the first woman to come forward publicly September 16, when she accused Kavanaugh of having sexually assaulting her while allegedly intoxicated during a high school party in suburban Maryland, some 36 years ago. In her July letter to Feinstein, Ford claimed she wanted to remain anonymous.

Two other women followed suit and leveled sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh in the 11th hour of his Supreme Court confirmation process: Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick.

But Mauriello insisted that polygraph questions must involve specific issues — not “multiple issues.”

“The letter has multiple issues in it,” Mauriello said. “In the examiner’s very first paragraph, he says the examination was to address whether Blasey was physically assaulted by Brett Kavanaugh while attending a small party in Montgomery County, Maryland. That’s the question, and that’s the question that should have been asked.”

“The bottom line is, the question has to be very specific. And this was a simple thing — did Brett Kavanaugh sexually assault her? Yes or no? It was a very simple test, and he lost it by using the letter as the issue,” Mauriello added. “It’s unbelievable.”

Kavanaugh and Ford are scheduled to testify before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary Thursday.

Related: Media Overwhelmingly ‘Rigged’ Against Kavanaugh, MRC Study Says

But Democrats who previously sought to delay Kavanaugh’s confirmation process for a variety of political reasons are now calling upon the committee to delay its vote, scheduled for Friday, until after the FBI conducts an investigation into the allegations.

The bureau has conducted six comprehensive background investigations of Kavanaugh during the course of his government career. Such investigations are extremely detailed, covering confirmation of finances, previous addresses, personal references, and character statements covering the individual’s adult life.

Former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy told Fox News host Laura Ingraham that Democrats “abused the [confirmation] process, and they were permitted to do it.”

“The minute that you start to give delay to people who are seeking delay, you get more delay and more problems. And that’s why we’re where we are now,” McCarthy said. “It’s going to be like [Supreme Court Justice] Clarence Thomas all over again.”

Thomas was accused during his confirmation process in 1991 of sexually harassing Anita Hill. Thomas electrified the nation when he confronted Democrats who controlled the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, rejecting Hill’s allegations and describing the process as a “high-lynching.”

But McCarthy, a National Review contributor and former assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, warned that an FBI investigation wouldn’t solve Kavanaugh’s problems or satisfy Democrats.

“This is a background investigation, Laura. It’s not a criminal investigation. It’s not a counterintelligence investigation,” McCarthy said. “The FBI ordinarily doesn’t have jurisdiction to investigate state law crimes like assault and these kinds of sexual abuses.”

Related: Who Is Christine Blasey Ford, Really? Six Things You Must Know

“It’s not a full-blown criminal investigation, and a confirmation hearing is not a trial,” he added. “The idea is [to] get enough information so that they can make a responsible decision about whether to approve this nomination or not. If they don’t think that they can approve it, they shouldn’t approve it.”

“But it’s not a trial. The idea that the FBI can breathe life into an investigation that the state authorities themselves wouldn’t do because it’s so time-barred and so stale that it would be improper under the U.S. Constitution — forget about the state statutes of limitations — there’s no state that would do this kind of investigation,” McCarthy insisted.

It also came out late Wednesday that Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) is trying to stall Kavanaugh’s confirmation process by other means. Merkley announced Wednesday that he was filing a lawsuit against President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), seeking a delay until Kavanaugh’s “full record” is available.”

Democrats’ opposition against Kavanaugh focused on the documents withheld before the sexual assault allegations came pouring in.

But legal analyst Jonathan Turley dismissed Merkley’s lawsuit out of hand.

“It’s completely, utterly meritless, and it won’t last very long in court,” Turley told Ingraham. “There are cases that have been dismissed along the same lines that were actually stronger. This one doesn’t even reach any level of plausibility for a federal judge. It will be dismissed relatively quickly.”

“The courts don’t afford that service. So this really doesn’t pass that laugh test for most judges,” he added.

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PoliZette writer Kathryn Blackhurst can be reached at [email protected].