Kavanaugh Accuser’s Lawyer Exposes Client’s Achilles’ Heel
California psychologist has an issue with certain key details as negotiations with the Senate Judiciary Committee continue
Christine Blasey Ford’s attorney, Debra Katz (shown above left; Ford is at far right), just handed her what looks like an insurmountable credibility problem.
Ford claims Judge Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when both were high schoolers at a suburban Maryland party. She cannot recall the place or date, however, and appears to remember other key details, such as who was present, incorrectly.
Kavanaugh described Ford’s claim as a “completely and totally false allegation,” and insisted that he has “never done anything like what the accuser describes to her or to anyone.”
“Most Americans, for example, recall vividly where they were and what they were doing the moment they first learned of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.”
Ford’s credibility problem was highlighted Saturday when The Washington Post reported that she said Leland Keyser, a lifelong friend, was present at the party.
Howard Walsh, Keyser’s attorney, responded, “Simply put, Ms. Keyser does not know Mr. Kavanaugh and she has no recollection of ever being at a party or gathering where he was present, with, or without, Dr. Ford.”
Keyser, according to Walsh, believes Ford’s allegations against Kavanaugh.
But then Debra Katz, a Ford attorney, responded to Walsh: “It’s not surprising that Ms. Keyser has no recollection of the evening, as they did not discuss it. It’s also unremarkable that Ms. Keyser does not remember attending a specific gathering 30 years ago at which nothing of consequence happened to her. Dr. Ford, of course, will never forget this gathering because of what happened to her there.” (emphasis added)
In other words, Ford expects to be believed without question because 36 years ago she suffered what for any woman would be a devastating experience she “will never forget” — but she demands to be excused for not recalling key facts about the unforgettable.
This contradiction is a huge problem for Ford because of the nature of human memory. Certain events make indelible imprints that stay with a person for a lifetime as if they happened just yesterday. Most Americans, for example, recall vividly where they were and what they were doing the moment they first learned of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Similarly, baby boomers typically recall exactly where they were and what they were doing the moment they heard of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, while members of the World War II generation never forget details of when they learned of the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor.
For the individuals who were present during those horrific events, details of time and place and pain remain with them for a lifetime.
Keyser is the third individual to contradict Ford’s claim they were present at the party where the alleged sexual assault occurred.
Kavanaugh friend Mark Judge strenuously denied Ford’s accusations, insisting that her allegations were “just absolutely nuts. I never saw Brett act that way.”
Judge added that he has “no memory of this alleged incident.”
Patrick J. Smyth also contradicted Ford, issuing a statement: “I have known Brett Kavanaugh since high school and I know him to be a person of great integrity, a great friend, and I have never witnessed any improper conduct by Brett Kavanaugh toward women.”
As things presently stand in the protracted negotiations between Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ford regarding her testimony before the panel, she could appear Thursday.
But details are still being worked out and, given the events of the past week, there is no guarantee Ford will actually take the oath and submit to what are certain to be intensely probing questions about her credibility.
In a related development, former Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Bromwich has been added to Ford’s legal team. Bromwich joins long-time Democratic attack strategist Ricki Seidman, advising Ford.
Seidman is an expert on mounting character attacks on Republican Supreme Court nominees, having previously worked as an investigator for Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), who led the assault on Robert Bork.
That assault on President Ronald Reagan’s choice was so vicious that it spawned the term “Borking,” for when opponents of an individual launch multiple false allegations against his or her character and conduct.
Seidman was also involved in the Borking of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas when then-President George H.W. Bush nominated him in 1991. Thomas called the Democrats’ lurid allegations against him a “high-tech lynching.”