Why It Would Be Better For Christine Blasey Ford If She Skips Thursday’s Hearing

Why It Would Be Better For Christine Blasey Ford If She Skips Thursday’s Hearing

Christine Blasey Ford’s attorneys have constantly complained about the agreed-upon process, making it look more and more likely that Kavanaugh’s accuser will be a no-show.
Margot Cleveland
By

Democrats failed in their desperate attempt to use Deborah Ramirez’s lawyer-induced “memory” of claimed sexual misconduct from Brett Kavanaugh to force Republicans to scuttle Thursday’s hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, at which accuser Christine Blasey Ford is scheduled to testify. But since Monday, Ford’s attorneys have been complaining about the agreed-upon process, making it look more and more likely that Kavanaugh’s accuser will be a no-show when the 10 a.m. hearing begins.

Just yesterday, ranking Senate committee member Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) said she had no way of knowing whether Ford would appear if a sex-crimes prosecutor led questioning, as Committee Chair Charles Grassley had announced the previous day. Then Ford’s attorneys spent the better part of Tuesday pinging the committee representative with emails, nitpicking logistics, and making more demands.

Who is this sex-crimes prosecutor, and where is her resume? Then Ford’s attorneys insisted on meeting her before Thursday’s hearing. When the committee contact explained that he would not share the prosecutor’s name at the time for security reasons, Ford’s lawyer demanded more information: What security risk? Had she been threatened? What about Kavanaugh—does he know her identity? The entire tone of the emails reeked of an excuse-making plot to pull out of Thursday’s hearing at the last moment.

Frankly, that would be Ford’s wisest choice, because her story as it now stands cannot withstand scrutiny, even before the prosecutor questions Ford about both her claims and evidence judiciary committee investigators have gathered since first learning of Ford’s charge.

The Evidence So Far Is Not in Christine Blasey Ford’s Favor

Let’s break it down, starting with Ford’s charge: Ford claims that in the early summer of 1982, when she was 15 years old, she went to a party at a house near a country club where she often spent time swimming. According to Ford, at the party were also her friend Leland Keyser (née Ingham) and three senior boys from Georgetown Preparatory: Brett Kavanaugh, Mark Judge, and Patrick Smyth (whom Ford originally identified merely as PJ). Ford maintains that Kavanaugh and Judge were extremely intoxicated, while the other three party-goers only drank one beer each.

While Ingham and Smyth remained downstairs, the two drunken boys, according to Ford, pushed her into an upstairs bedroom, where Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed, groped her, attempted to disrobe her, then covered her mouth when she attempted to scream for help. Ford asserts that Judge then tumbled on them, knocking Kavanaugh off and freeing her to escape across the hall to a bathroom.

She says she waited in the bathroom until she heard the boys go downstairs, then ran out of the house. Ford does not remember the location of the house, how she got to or from the house, or even the exact date. She claims she told no one about the incident and didn’t speak of the evening again with her friend Keyser.

The four potential witnesses Ford identified, however, do not support her story. Kavanaugh immediately issued a statement: “I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time.” Kavanaugh also told Sen. Orrin Hatch that he was “not at a party like the one [Ford] describes.” Additionally, Kavanaugh denied the charge in a written statement and the day after Ford’s story broke requested a hearing to clear his name.

Judge also responded to Ford’s charges, stating, “I have no memory of this alleged incident. Kavanaugh and I were friends in high school but I do not recall the party described.” Judge added that he had never seen “Brett act in the manner Dr. Ford describes.” The final Georgetown Prep attendee, Smyth, similarly denied any “knowledge of the party in question” and “any knowledge of the allegations of improper conduct [Ford] has leveled against Brett Kavanaugh.”

While Kavanaugh, Judge, and Smyth’s denials could be put down to avoidance of responsibility or misplaced boyhood loyalty, the same cannot be said for Ford’s lifelong friend, Keyser. Late Saturday, a lawyer representing Ford’s friend told the Judiciary Committee that 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.”

Ford’s Lawyers’ Spin Is Wobbly at Best

When news broke that Keyser had denied any recollection of the party or knowing Kavanaugh, Ford’s attorneys quickly spun that fact as irrelevant, telling NBC: “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.”

This excuse cannot be reconciled with common sense. First, it is key to remember that Keyser did not merely deny remembering the gathering—she claims she doesn’t know Kavanaugh and doesn’t remember ever attending a party where he was present. But this party Ford described wasn’t a large gathering. It included only five individuals, one of whom was Keyser’s close friend and another supposedly Kavanaugh.

Also, under Ford’s own telling of the story, Keyser had only had one beer. Not remembering meeting Kavanaugh under those circumstances is telling.

Then there’s the reality of being a 15-year-old girl in the 1980s: Two sophomore girls invited to a party with three senior boys would remember it, especially when one of the boys was a varsity football player and captain of the basketball team, and, as we said at the time, “a stud.” Even if Keyser did not remember the party, given the reality of life as a teen in 1982, she would very likely have remembered meeting Kavanaugh.

Further, while Ford’s attorneys put the night down as “unremarkable” to Keyser because “nothing of consequence happened to her,” that is not true! If Ford’s story is true, she was ditched by Ford and left alone with three boys, two of whom were extremely intoxicated and, per Ford’s story, had attempted to rape Ford. Think of the normal reaction to these developments: “Hey, where’s Chrissy?” “What do you mean, she left? What happened? Great, now how am I going to get home?” That’s definitely a memorable experience.

Then what about the next day? Is anyone really expected to believe that Keyser wouldn’t ask her friend, “Hey, what happened last night that you ditched me?” But no, according to Ford, they never discussed the party. This scenario is unbelievable. And that is before you even get to Kavanaugh’s testimony.

Kavanaugh’s Testimony Is Far More Compelling

Kavanaugh immediately and unequivocally denied attending a party like that described—a party in 1982 attended by five individuals. He also emphatically insisted that he never sexually assaulted Ford or anyone else.

However, because Ford does not remember the date of her claimed assault, Kavanaugh cannot conclusively provide an alibi. Nonetheless, he reportedly kept his 1982 calendar, which shows him out of town with his parents, at sporting events, and other social gatherings much of the summer, but not this supposed party. Additionally, none of the parties marked on Kavanaugh’s calendar included gatherings with Judge or Smyth.

Character witnesses also provide support to Kavanaugh’s claim that he did not sexually assault Ford. Smyth and Judge both indicated they never saw Kavanaugh act as Ford claims. And while Democrats have attempted to line up a trail of victims, that plan has backfired.

The public is incredulous that The New Yorker would run an article claiming that Kavanaugh exposed himself to another young lady at Yale, when the supposed victim wasn’t sure he was involved and only concluded that yes, it was Kavanaugh, after a week of chatting with her attorney while trying to remember what happened when she was an intoxicated 18-year-old. Michael Avenatti’s last minute gang-rape allegations just further destroy the credibility of any supposed new victims.

Other Factors Ding Ford’s Story Further

There are also several more general points that harm Ford’s credibility. Initially, though, it is important to stress that rape victims often do not report attacks for various reasons, so Ford not reporting the claimed sexual assault at the time is of no moment. Also, while Ford does not remember several significant details, that also is not unheard of in cases of decades-old claims of abuse.

Even without such evidence, Ford’s story fails to pass muster. No one remembers a party such as Ford describes.

But what is suspicious is Ford’s claim that she did not want to go public, yet hired an attorney and took a polygraph a month before the story was leaked to the Washington Post. Also, it was the leak, Ford maintains, that served as the impetus for her speaking out.

There is likely more information awaiting Ford at the committee hearing. While the Democrats refused to cooperate in the investigation, the Republicans plowed forward. True, Ford did not give them much to go on, but she did tell them the names of all of the individuals at the supposed party.

Also, in explaining her recollection of the alleged attack, she provided a detailed description of the interior layout of the home. The investigators could thus identify the possible party sites—the childhood homes of one of the three male attendees. If none of the layouts match Ford’s description of how her attack went down, that refutes Ford’s charge.

Yet even without such evidence, Ford’s story just fails to pass muster. No one remembers a party such as Ford describes. Ford’s friend does not remember ever meeting Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh was elsewise occupied much of the summer, and has men and women countering the claim that he has ever mistreated women. And he unequivocally denied attending the gathering or assaulting Ford.

The Reasons People Believe Her Aren’t Really Reasons

Against all of that, Ford has only her word against Kavanaugh’s. So why do Ford’s supporters believe her? The answers proffered on social media and the press prove either stereotypical (women don’t lie; men are evil) or dictatorial (you must believe women). Nither are convincing.

Reason must rule in our laws, where the accused is presumed innocent, the accuser bears the burden of proof.

First, we know that women do lie, and they do lie about rape. Just ask Rolling Stone about that lesson learned the hard way. So what it comes back to is, “I believe Christine.”

That’s not a reason—that’s a sentiment and a slogan. Slogans may suffice for politics, and sentiments may shoulder a suffering sister, student, or friend, which is why Ford’s friend can say she believes Christine even though she doesn’t remember meeting Kavanaugh. But reason must rule in our Anglo-American system of laws, where the accused is presumed innocent, the accuser bears the burden of proof, and “the law holds, that it is better that ten guilty persons escape than one innocent suffer.”

Unfortunately, when it’s a matter of the balance of the Supreme Court, the left has abandoned these principles. But in this case, it is not merely Kavanaugh and his family who will suffer: Ford, who at some point could have been sexually assaulted—just not by Kavanaugh—is likely suffering greatly too.

And that is before her story is decimated at Thursday’s hearing. A last-minute cancelation by Ford may be in her best interests, as her attorneys have seemingly discovered.

Margot Cleveland is a senior contributor to The Federalist. Cleveland served nearly 25 years as a permanent law clerk to a federal appellate judge and is a former full-time faculty member and current adjunct instructor at the college of business at the University of Notre Dame. The views expressed here are those of Cleveland in her private capacity.

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