106°F
weather icon Clear

Kavanaugh accuser believable, but can’t corroborate her story

WASHINGTON

Christine Blasey Ford, the California professor who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her in 1982 when they were high school students, came across as genuine and believable as she testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday. Maybe Ford was telling the truth, but she offered no substantial corroboration for her charge against Kavanaugh.

Ford cannot say when the alleged incident occurred or where. She named three people whom she put at the house party where the misconduct allegedly occurred. All three have denied knowing anything about the incident under penalty of felony. (Ford also testified under penalty of felony.)

Ford has accused Mark Judge, Kavanaugh’s friend, of participating in the incident, so she suggested it’s no surprise if Judge denied her charge. But the other two, P.J. Smyth and Leland Ingham Keyser, issued statements denying any knowledge as well.

Through her attorney, Keyser, a longtime friend of Ford’s from high school, also stated that she does not know Kavanaugh.

Ford has a therapist’s notes from a counseling session in 2012 in which she discussed the alleged event without naming Kavanaugh. She also passed a polygraph test. But that’s not enough to meet the burden of proof.

The media narrative about this story is that women who accuse men decades after alleged abuse should be believed because victims frequently don’t report offenses. That takes the burden off the accuser and dumps it on the accused.

By her own account, Ford did not tell a soul about the incident until she got married in 2002. There is no contemporary corroboration.

Asked about Keyser’s statement, Ford could only shrug, “Leland has significant health challenges, and I’m happy that she’s focusing on herself.”

“She let me know that she needed her lawyer to take care of this for her, and she texted me right afterward with an apology,” Ford added.

Ford also said that she would have preferred to be interviewed by committee staff in California — somehow unaware that Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, had publicly offered to arrange just that.

At one point, Rachel Mitchell, the Arizona prosecutor brought in to question both Ford and Kavanaugh — although she disappeared during Kavanaugh’s testimony — asked Ford how she got to Washington.

“In an airplane,” Ford replied — an answer that contradicted her lawyers’ contention that she could not testify earlier because of her fear of flying. Ford’s answer suggested that her lawyers were working in concert with Democrats to delay a vote on Kava- naugh’s nomination in the hopes that they take back the Senate in the upcoming midterm elections.

There’s nothing wrong with Democrats trying to delay a confirmation vote, but there is something foul in the character assassination techniques they’ve used to jam the works.

Friday after Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., moved to delay a Senate vote to confirm the judge, Trump ordered an FBI supplemental investigation into the allegations — a probe that “must be limited in scope and completed in less than one week.”

That’s fine, but will it be enough?

Even before that, some Democrats had jumped from demanding an FBI investigation not only on the Ford charge, but also on flimsy stories such as a New Yorker piece about a former Yale classmate who accused Kavanaugh of exposing himself at a booze-filled dormitory party. The New York Times also reported on the accusation while noting it could not corroborate the charge.

A third woman accused the judge of orchestrating parties at which girls were gang raped — something it is impossible to believe the FBI would have missed during its six background checks of Kavanaugh.

The very notion that it is acceptable to use someone’s high school behavior — worse, alleged high school behavior — offends all sense of fairness, as critics judge a man not by the life he has built and the friends he holds closely, but by the cable news tornado that began as an anonymous accusation.

Last year, Justice Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s first Supreme Court selection, did not face charges of sexual misconduct. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., asked Kavanaugh why Gorsuch didn’t face similar allegations if this was merely partisan mischief.

In 2017, the Democrats were stunned. In 2018, after a year of sparring with Trump, they’re looking for payback, and they’re not exactly particular about how they get it.

Contact Debra J. Saunders at dsaunders@reviewjournal.com or 202-662-7391. Follow @DebraJSaunders on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
Media's Double Standard On Incitement And Trump - Video
Over the weekend, an Elizabeth Warren-supporting socialist who opposed gun violence used a rifle to commit a mass murder in Dayton, Ohio. The media has downplayed that aspect of the tragedy.
Project Our Care Tour Kicks Off In Las Vegas
U.S. Rep. Dina Titus joined health care advocates and local residents as part of Protect Our Care’s nationwide bus tour kick off in Las Vegas on Monday, August 5, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders talks about guns, response to El Paso shooting
Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke about his response and continued policy ideas about guns and gun control to the Review-Journal after a panel of other topics. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pete Buttigieg On Gun Control And Climate Change - Video
Pete Buttigieg talks about his campaign for the 2020 election and how Nevada is a vision of what the future can be.
Beto O'Rourke speaks in Las Vegas
Presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke spoke to supporters at the East Las Vegas Community Center in Las Vegas, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2019. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Nevada Senate leader Kelvin Atkinson sentenced to prison
Former Nevada Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson, who pleaded guilty to misusing campaign funds, was sentenced to 27 months in prison on Thursday, July 18, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trumps Strength is also a Weakness - Video
One of Donald Trump’s greatest strengths — his ability to shape national narratives — is also a great weakness.
Tax the Rich Bus Tour makes a stop in Las Vegas - Video
The Tax the Rich Bus has stopped in Las Vegas as part of its summer tour. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ - Video
Assembly Woman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ to bring the community together to hear about the candidates up for election and for people to gather and have fun.
Democrat Virtual Caucus - Video
Elizabeth Warren visits Las Vegas
Senator Elizabeth Warren made a campaign stop at the East Las Vegas Community Center on Tuesday July 2, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Aaron Ford Speaks About Bill AB431
AB431 is a bill sponsored by Nevada Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson to restore the right to vote for formerly incarcerated individuals. Attorney General Aaron Ford spoke at the AM&E Church in North Las Vegas about the bill, on Monday, July 1, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Right Take: Biden's Racially Questionable Comments
Joe Biden has uttered racially charged statements for years. Now that he’s the frontrunner for the Democrat presidential nomination, he may finally face prolonged scrutiny for them.
Christopher Rufo Discusses Homelessness In The USA - VIDEO
Christopher Rufo discusses homelessness in the United States and how politicians can work to improve conditions for those with drug addictions.
Clark County 2019 Election Results - Video
The 2019 Elections wrap up in Clark County including an upset in the Boulder City Mayor race.
Olivia Diaz talks about her win in Ward 3 - VIDEO
Las Vegas City Councilwoman-elect Olivia Diaz talks about her election win in Ward 3 and what lies ahead for her.
Greene discusses Read by 3 and Opportunity Scholarships - VIDEO
The Nevada Legislative Session is over and the results are mixed for Nevada students, according to Tom Greene, Senior regional legislative director, Excel in Ed in Action.
Bernie Sanders visits Las Vegas
Sen. Bernie Sanders made a stop at Roy W. Martin middle school on Thursday, during his campaign trail.
THE LATEST