The sex crimes prosecutor who questioned Christine Blasey Ford about her allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has released a memo detailing inconsistencies in Ford’s testimony.
“I do not think that a reasonable prosecutor would bring this case based on the evidence before the Committee,” Rachel Mitchell wrote in a five-page-long memo obtained by The Washington Post. “A ‘he said, she said’ case is incredibly difficult to prove. But this case is even weaker than that.”
Throughout the blistering memo, Mitchell, who questioned Ford on behalf of Senate Republicans during a public hearing last Thursday, outlines 12 big problems with Ford’s testimony.
1. Witnesses Corroborate Not Ford, But Kavanaugh’s Stance
Ford named a friend, Leland Ingham Keyser, as at the drunken high school party where Ford says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her. Keyser has repeatedly said that she does not remember any such event and has refused to corroborate Ford’s story.
Ford also named two others — Mark Judge and Patrick “PJ” Smyth — as being at the party or in the room when the attack allegedly occurred. Both of these men have also said, under penalty of legal action, they have no recollection of any such attack taking place.
“Dr. Ford identified other witnesses to the event, and those witnesses either refuted her allegations or failed to corroborate them,” Mitchell wrote.
2. Ford Keeps Changing Her Story On When The Alleged Attack Occurred
Initially, Ford kept altering the timeline about when the alleged attack took place, then suddenly narrowed it down to the summer of 1982 just before her testimony without explaining how she was able to do that.
Here are the different versions of the story she’s told reporters, lawmakers, and her therapist, from Mitchell’s memo.
• In a July 6 text to the Washington Post, she said it happened in the “mid 1980s.”
• In her July 30 letter to Senator Feinstein, she said it happened in the “early 80s.”
• Her August 7 statement to the polygrapher said that it happened one “high school
summer in early 80’s,” but she crossed out the word “early” for reasons she did not
• A September 16 Washington Post article reported that Dr. Ford said it happened in the
“summer of 1982.”
• Similarly, the September 16 article reported that notes from an individual therapy session
in 2013 show her describing the assault as occurring in her “late teens.” But she told the
Post and the Committee that she was 15 when the assault allegedly occurred. She has not
turned over her therapy records for the Committee to review.
• While it is common for victims to be uncertain about dates, Dr. Ford failed to explain
how she was suddenly able to narrow the timeframe to a particular season and particular
3. Ford Didn’t Name Kavanaugh As The Attacker Until Now
Leading up to the hearing, Ford told The Post she had therapy notes from a marriage counseling session in 2012 in which she outlined the alleged assault. Post reporter Emma Brown noted that Ford did not name Kavanaugh as the assailant in these notes. The only time Ford has named Kavanaugh as the assailant on the record was after he was nominated as a Supreme Court justice.
Mitchell outlines this in the timeline below.
• No name was given in her 2012 marriage therapy notes.
• No name was given in her 2013 individual therapy notes.
• Dr. Ford’s husband claims to recall that she identified Judge Kavanaugh by name in
2012. At that point, Judge Kavanaugh’s name was widely reported in the press as a
potential Supreme Court nominee if Governor Romney won the presidential election.
• In any event, it took Dr. Ford over thirty years to name her assailant. Delayed disclosure
of abuse is common so this is not dispositive.
4. Ford Has Changed The Description Of The Trauma She Allegedly Suffered
“When speaking with her husband, Dr. Ford changed her description of the incident to become
less specific,” Mitchell notes. “Dr. Ford testified that she told her husband about a ‘sexual assault’ before they were married. But she told the Washington Post that she informed her husband that she was the victim of ‘physical abuse’ at the beginning of their marriage. She testified that, both times, she was referring to the same incident.”
5. Ford Can’t Recall Key Details That Could Corroborate Her Story
Mitchell noted that Ford doesn’t remember who invited her to the party nor does she remember how she heard about it. She doesn’t remember how she got to and from the party where she says the attack took place — which before cell phones is odd.
“She stated that she ran out of the house after coming downstairs and did not state that she made a phone call from the house before she did, or that she called anyone else thereafter,” the sex prosecutor noted.
6. Ford Has Changed Her Story About The Alleged Attack
“According to her letter to Senator Feinstein, Dr. Ford heard Judge Kavanaugh and Mark Judge talking to other partygoers downstairs while she was hiding in the bathroom after the alleged assault,” Mitchell states. “But according to her testimony, she could not hear them talking to anyone.”
7. The Number Of People She Says Were Present At The Party Keeps Changing
As The Federalist reported last week, Ford’s testimony has been inconsistent in the number of people she says were at the party. She told Post there were four boys at the party, but in her polygraph statement, she said there were “four
people boys and a couple of girls.”
8. Ford’s Recent Memory Is Full Of Gaps
Mitchell notes that Ford was unable to remember key details of events that have unfolded over the past couple of months. She couldn’t remember whether she showed the Post reporter her therapy notes or if she merely summarized them for her. When asked if she had a copy of the notes in her possession when she reached out to the newspaper’s tipline via WhatsApp on July 6, Ford couldn’t remember if she had a copy of her notes in her possession or if she reviewed them in her therapist’s office.
Ford has yet to provide a copy of these aforementioned notes to the Senate Judiciary Committee — the only piece of hard evidence she has acknowledged exists.
At the same time that Ford says she can’t remember very recent events, she is claiming very clear knowledge of a traumatizing event that allegedly occurred some thirty years ago, although research and experience shows trauma very frequently clouds memories rather than crystallizing them.
9. Stated Reasons For Coming Forward Are Not Consistent
When Ford’s letter was passed along to Sen. Dianne Feinstein in late July, Ford requested anonymity, but her stated desire to conceal her identity doesn’t match her actions. Mitchell notes: “the person operating the tipline at the Washington Post was the first person other than her therapist or husband to whom she disclosed the identity of her alleged attacker.”
“She testified that she had a ‘sense of urgency to relay the information to the Senate and the president,” Mitchell wrote. “She did not contact the Senate, however, because she claims she ‘did not know how to do that.’ She does not explain why she knew how to contact her Congresswoman (Rep. Anna Eshoo) but not her Senator.”
10. Ford’s Polygraph Is Suspect
Ford was unable to recall if she took the polygraph on the day of or the day following her grandmother’s funeral in early August — a memory lapse Mitchell notes is troubling, adding that “It would also have been inappropriate to administer a polygraph to someone who was grieving.”
Polygraphs are so notoriously unreliable that they are inadmissable as evidence in federal courts.
11. The Claimed Psychological Effects Of The Trauma Keep Changing
Ford told the Senate Judiciary Committee she needed the hearing to be delayed because she was afraid of flying due to trauma associated with the alleged attack. When pressed on her travel habits, however, Ford conceded that she does in fact fly frequently, including to Hawaii, French Polynesia, and Costa Rica.
12. Ford’s Lawyers Probably Affected Ford’s Story
When asked if Ford had considered taking up Senate Republicans on their offer to fly out to California, she said that was “unclear,” which could mean that her attorneys failed to communicate a key component of the negotiations.
In a detailed outline of events, Mitchell explained that Ford’s attorney’s behavior throughout the whole ordeal likely significantly affected Ford’s version of events.