Christine Blasey Ford’s legal team claims to have four people who can corroborate Ford’s claims that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a party in 1982.
The claim is misleading.
USA Today published the report just before midnight on Tuesday which quickly spread on Twitter, with many on the political left automatically making the assumption that this was the end for Kavanaugh.
Ford’s lawyers sent “sworn and signed declarations from four people” to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which they claim corroborate Ford’s claim that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her.
All four people who can “corroborate” her claims were told in the years after her 2012 therapy sessions — where she never used Kavanaugh’s name — about the alleged incident from over 35 years ago.
One of the people listed is her husband, the other three are close friends of hers. USA Today reports:
- In her declaration, Adela Gildo-Mazzon said Ford told her about the alleged assault during a June 2013 meal at a restaurant in Mountain View, California, and contacted Ford’s attorneys on Sept. 16 to tell them Ford had confided in her five years ago.
- In another declaration, Keith Koegler said Ford revealed the alleged assault to him in 2016, when the two parents were watching their children play in a public place and discussing the “light” sentencing of Stanford University student Brock Turner.
- In another declaration, Rebecca White, a neighbor and friend of more than six years, said Ford revealed the alleged assault against her in 2017.
- In his declaration, Ford’s husband said he learned of his wife’s experience with sexual assault “around the time we got married” but that she didn’t share details until a couple’s therapy session in 2012.
The statements from these four people do not change the numerous problems with Ford’s allegations, which Paul Sperry of the New York Post outlines:
1. Ford still does not remember where the party happened and is not certain of what year it took place, although she thinks it was most likely 1982 — a year that Kavanaugh has calendars from, which casts further doubt on her memory.
2. Ford told no one at the time what she claims happened, which means she has no contemporaneous witnesses to back up her story.
3. According to her therapist’s notes, Ford told her therapist in 2012 that there were four boys in the room. Now she claims there were only two boys in the room and claims that there were three boys at the party and one girl. She also never told the therapist Kavanaugh’s name.
The fact that her memory appears to have changed this much in only a few years is significant — but not as significant as the fact that all four people who Ford claims were at the party have all denied any recollection of attending the party described by Ford.
4. “Her own immediate family doesn’t appear to be backing her up, either,” Sperry writes. “Her mother, father and two siblings are all conspicuously absent from a letter of support released by a dozen relatives, mostly on her husband’s side of the family.”
5. “In another inconsistency, Ford told The Washington Post she was upset when Trump won in 2016, because Kavanaugh was mentioned as a Supreme Court pick,” Sperry writes. “But Kavanaugh wasn’t added to Trump’s list of possibles until November 2017, a full year later.”