The Christine Blasey Ford saga doesn’t seem to be ending soon. While we await further word from the FBI, here follow some thoughts on her testimony, her various statements, and questions raised during the Senate hearing:
Ford testified that she didn’t know that the Judiciary Committee had offered to send investigators to take her statement, in private, anywhere that she wished. Either she’s not telling the truth or her own lawyers deliberately kept these facts from her, even though Ford’s avowed preference was to not testify in public. Ford has not fired the lawyers, which must mean that she’s okay with their deception, if it was deception. If it was not deception, then she misled the committee, at best. Which is it? It would seem to be malpractice for lawyers to work against the best interest of their client in order to further the interests of their political party. Will there be repercussions for these lawyers?
Ford had told the committee that because she fears “confined spaces,” she couldn’t fly to DC for an earlier hearing. During her committee testimony the Republicans’ lawyer elicited the truth: Ford had flown to the east coast just last month, she flies to the east coast nearly every year on vacation or to visit family, and for professional reasons she has flown to many places throughout the world during her career. Does she have a selective fear of confined spaces? Once again, it appears that Ford or her lawyers at best misled the committee for their own political reasons (they wanted to delay as long as possible).
Ford said that she encountered Mark Judge only a few weeks after the incident. According to her sworn account, he was an accessory to attempted rape and, depending upon how the law would characterize it, attempted manslaughter. Earlier, she had testified that the incident left her suffering for over 36 years from anxiety and PTSD. For the rest of high school and several years of college, she could not succeed in school because of the trauma of this assault. So traumatized was she that she insisted that Kavanaugh not even be in the same room with her when she testified. Nevertheless, when only a few weeks after the incident she saw Judge at the grocery store, she went right up to him to say hello! Her mother went to the store with her, but her mother presumably can’t confirm the encounter because Ford said that she went into the store via a different door than her mother, implying that was only because as a teen she didn’t want to be seen with her mother.
Ford testified that she left the (unidentified) house after the incident, but had to walk through the living room where the others, including the two alleged assailants, were conversing. There was only one other female at the “gathering”–her “lifelong” friend Leland. Having just been nearly raped and perhaps killed, Ford left the party alone and somehow made her way home. Ford testified that she never discussed the incident with Leland, not even to tell her why she had run from the “gathering.” In effect, she left her friend there, without telling her what had happened. Ford left Leland there alone, with four older males, two of whom were completely “inebriated” and who had just tried to rape her! According to Ford, Leland never asked her where she disappeared to that day.
Couldn’t Ford have left via the back door, in order to avoid having to see her attackers again? Or did that home not have a back door?
Ford seemed to tear up during her testimony, while Kavanaugh openly wept, tears visible on his cheeks. Ford, unlike Kavanaugh, didn’t sniffle. Nor did I observe her cough or use a tissue, nor did her eyes or nose redden. These are just my own observations. Her account reminded me of the movie “A Christmas Story”, when Ralphie told his mother the story about how an icicle fell off the roof and broke his glasses.
Ford read her entire statement. She seemed unable to speak from memory. She looked up often, but only briefly, without seeming to make eye contact with anyone. She immediately went back to reading the text. Kavanaugh, on the other hand, referred to his notes, but for the most part looked squarely at the committee and seemed to have no problem speaking from memory. Ford seemed to not know her own story.
Ford had to make three modifications to the letter she herself had allegedly written in July and sent to Senator Feinstein. Before she made these changes (or clarifications) she had to read the letter carefully, in full, as if she didn’t know what it said. Didn’t her lawyers prepare her for this? Didn’t she remember what she wrote? Didn’t she carefully review such an explosive allegation before mailing it?
Ford said that she first mentioned the specific details of the alleged assault to her husband in May 2012, during marriage therapy sessions, in the context of trying to explain why she insisted on having a second front door added to their home during remodeling. The implication was that because of her claustrophobia, brought on by the alleged assault 36 years prior, she’s uncomfortable anywhere there is not more than one exit. Later, she revealed that the second front door is actually used by Google interns who rent part of Ford’s home. Was the second door built to give renters privacy and/or their own apartment on the premises? Isn’t it always code to have more than one egress from any home or separate living space? During a renovation, wouldn’t a home have to be brought up to current code, which may be the real reason for the second door? If a person plans to rent out part of a home and wants renters to live in their own separate space, wouldn’t it be code that the renters also must have more than one egress from their living quarters?
The particular therapy session in question happened in May 2012. Just weeks before, it was reported that Mitt Romney would consider Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court, should Romney win the presidency. Ford says she didn’t publicly name Kavanaugh until July 2018, when she learned he might soon be nominated for the Supreme Court by President Trump. Would she have first publicly named him as her attacker had there been a SCOTUS opening during a Romney administration?
Ford testified that there was already music playing in the upstairs bedroom when she was pushed into it by Mark and Brett. There was no music playing downstairs. Why was the gathering downstairs, but the music was playing upstairs in an empty room? (Is her PTSD triggered when she hears that music again? She hasn’t told us what song was playing. Perhaps she can consult her hippocampus. She hasn’t mentioned smells, either–incense, cigarette smoke, marijuana smoke, sweat, chlorine on her swimsuit, beer on Brett’s breath. Memories are tightly bound to scents. It’s noticeable that she’s not mentioned any smells associated with that evening.)
[Update 9/30/18: About the bedroom: Was it an adult’s bedroom or a child’s bedroom? Was it, perhaps, the bedroom of a high school boy? Ford has never given details about the room itself. What color was it? Were there pictures or posters on the walls? Any windows? How many? Did it face the street? From the statement Ford gave to the polygraph examiner and also from the letter she sent Feinstein, the bathroom was not en suite. The bathroom was a “hallway bathroom,” “across” from the bedroom. So it wasn’t the master bedroom of the house? Ford told the polygraph examiner that the gathering was at a house where the parents were not at home, which seems to indicate that it must have been the home of an attendee of the “gathering.” How else would they have gotten into a house where the owners were absent?]
Ford says she was pushed from behind into the bedroom and then the door was closed and locked. She couldn’t say who pushed her in. Were the lights on or was it dark in the room? Ford didn’t say and nobody asked her, so far as I know. Were Brett and Mark downstairs in the living room when Ford left to go upstairs to the bathroom? If she didn’t see who pushed her into the room, if the door was locked behind her, and since it was evening, it would seem important to know whether or not lights were on in the room. How else would she know who her attackers were with 100% specificity?
Ford said she had gone swimming the day of the incident at the nearby country club. She testified that she had a one-piece swimming suit on under her clothes during the alleged assault. The gathering took place in the evening. Why did she put back on a wet swimsuit? What type of clothing was she wearing over it?
When asked what was her strongest memory of the alleged incident, instead of saying the fact that she was nearly raped or that she was nearly killed, she said it was that the boys were laughing at her.
A reporter said that Ford gave her copies of her therapist notes. Ford testified that she doesn’t remember whether she did or not. One would think Ford would remember having printed out (from a patient portal) the notes for the reporter to read. Ford would not provide the therapy notes to the committee, even though they are supposedly “corroborating evidence,” at least according to Ford’s lawyers and supporters. Kavanaugh is not named in the therapy notes. The notes apparently said there were four attackers, not two. And the notes also said she was attacked when she was in her late teens, not at age 15. If the notes are correct, if she was in her late teens, that would indicate that Kavanaugh, being older, may have been away at college when the incident occurred. For it to have happened at a high school party, such as were conveniently documented in Mark Judge’s semi-fictional book, then she would have had to have been in her mid-teens. Kavanaugh graduated from Georgetown Prep in 1983. Even in the summer of 1983, Ford herself was not yet in her late teens and Kavanaugh was no longer in high school.
The polygraph examination was done in a hotel next to the airport, as Ford prepared to fly home to CA on the day of her grandmother’s funeral. Wouldn’t a subject be too emotional during such circumstances for a polygraph to be valid? Maybe the FBI can tell us. Ford also didn’t know who paid for the polygraph. Singularly uninterested in such details, it seems.
As recently as last month (August 7, 2018), Ford did not specify the summer of 1982 as the time of the assault. She did not tell the polygraph examiner the year that this allegedly happened, only that it was one summer in the 1980s. Neither did the statement she wrote for the polygraph examiner contain many of the details provided in the letter to Senator Feinstein or in her sworn testimony. She didn’t mention drinking beer herself; she didn’t mention that Brett and Mark were drunk (or “inebriated” as she said in testimony); she didn’t mention music; she didn’t mention that Brett was “grinding” himself into her; she didn’t mention having on a swimsuit under her clothing; she didn’t mention hearing them pin-balling down the stairs afterwards; and she didn’t mention hearing them conversing with the others downstairs. Nor did she mention either Brett’s or Mark’s surname in her statement, even though the purpose of the polygraph was to determine whether Kavanaugh had assaulted her and even though she was asked whether her statement (that did not name Kavanaugh) was true. The polygraph examiner asked only two questions, and neither was “Did Brett Kavanaugh, the current nominee for the Supreme Court, push you onto a bed and grope you?” She signed the statement using her maiden name.
Is it possible that there were already two boys in the bedroom, listening to music, and then two other boys pushed her in and locked the door, making four boys and Ford in the room, as she originally told the therapist?
Ford testified that the bedroom door was locked before the assault. She says she got away when they all “toppled” onto the floor. She doesn’t mention whether or not it was hard for her to unlock the door to get out of the room. Why did she then lock herself in the bathroom across the hall instead of going down the “short stairway” that was right there, between the bedroom and the bathroom? Why didn’t she run down to join her friends, where there was at least safety in numbers? Originally Ford seemed to indicate that the party consisted of herself and four boys. Later the story morphed to include one other girl–Leland. If the first version was the truth (which is what she told the therapist) and if there was no Leland there, too, then there would be no safety in numbers downstairs–all four boys, whoever they were, would have been upstairs with her. Refer to the written statement she gave the polygraph examiner. Before she crossed some words out, she wrote:
At that time, I was pushed
by two personsinto a bedroom and was locked in the room and pushed onto a bed. Two boys were in the room. [Listening to music?]
Does “two persons” plus “two boys” plus Ford equal one girl and four boys, as originally told to the therapist?
If the FBI does a decent investigation and if We the People are privy to the results, then maybe some light will shine on this saga.
In the meantime, pray for Judge Kavanaugh, his family, and our Republic.
Update 9/30/18: Democrats and Ford’s supporters believe that they have narrowed down the date of the alleged incident. They base their circumstantial “evidence” on Kavanaugh’s calendar page for July 1, 1982. On that day, Kavanaugh went to “Tobin’s house” for a “workout.” That same day, Kavanaugh wrote “Go to Timmy’s for ‘Skis w/Judge, Tom, PJ, Bernie, Squi.” Democrats assume “‘Skis” means brewskis, or beer. The boy nicknamed Squi is the boy who Ford said introduced her to Kavanaugh and with whom she “went out” but not particularly “dated”, for a short time, seemingly a couple of months prior to the alleged assault, and then they became “distant friends.” Squi is said to have closely resembled Kavanaugh during high school. Squi lived near the country club and his family were members. Kavanaugh’s calendar entry for July 1982 indicates that he was going to Timmy’s house according to an earlier plan. Ford, however, indicated that she did not go to a planned party. She used the word “gathering” instead of party, to indicate that this was an impromptu gathering of people who had spent the day at the country club. Democrats point to Judge’s book that mentions working at a grocery store for a few weeks to earn money for football camp. In 1982, football camp was the last week and a half of August. Judge’s book talks about working at the store on the page after he discusses the summer before his senior year, which would be 1982; Ford says she ran into Judge at the store weeks after the alleged assault. On July 2 that year, Kavanaugh left for the beach and remained there throughout the weekend, returning on July 5. He attended a party at “Ann Daugherty’s house” on the Fourth of July. If the alleged assault had happened that close to the Fourth of July, it seems that Ford would have associated the incident with the holiday and all the activities surrounding it. Kavanaugh’s calendar mentions 6 boys and no girls going to Timmy’s house on July 1. That doesn’t fit Ford’s testimony, which has varied from 4 boys and 1 girl (therapist notes), to 4 boys and 2 girls (testimony), to 3 boys and 2 girls (Feinstein letter). Kavanaugh testified that if someone didn’t show up at an event, he would cross his or her name off the calendar and that if others did show, he would write their names in, so that his calendar reflected reality and acted as a diary. Timmy’s house, according to another friend, was not a single-family home; it was a townhome that was not anywhere near the country club.