Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Jill Abramson Smears Justice Thomas, Again. Part 3: Moira Smith’s Allegations Debunked

(Alexei Novikov/Dreamstime)

“I was stunned to read in the news that a woman had accused Justice Clarence Thomas of groping her at a dinner party that I attended in 1999 and remember very well. It remains in my memory because the dinner party was held the night before the awarding of the first annual Stevens Award in memory of my late husband who died in December of 1998. . . . When I read the news item, my first thought was  — “that couldn’t have happened.” Justice Thomas was never alone — he was guest of honor. In addition to that, the house was not large — the dining area was at one end of the living room, not a separate room, and the dining room table was in full view through the kitchen door where Louis Blair and his assistant were cooking. It was a wonderful, happy evening, apparently enjoyed by all.”
— Statement of Norma Stevens, 10/28/16

“Smith is a registered Democrat married to the former Alaska Democratic Party chair who was forced to withdraw from a 2008 congressional race after it was revealed that his campaign was responsible for creating fake web sites targeting a rival. Her former husband worked for President Obama, and one of her former housemates, Laura Fink, that backed up her story did work for Hillary Rodham Clinton and posed for a photo with Bill Clinton.”
— Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner, 10/27/16

“Louis Blair, who was then head of the Truman Foundation and hosting the dinner at his home in northern Virginia, told the journal he had neither seen nor heard of Smith’s allegation. He said he was busy in the kitchen preparing the dinner and that he was ‘skeptical that the justice and Moira would have been alone.’ ”
— David Savage, Los Angeles Times, 10/27/16

“Mr. Blair, who hosted the party, told the Law Journal that Ms. Smith never told him what happened, and he questioned whether Justice Thomas ever would have been alone with a dinner guest.”
Washington Times, 10/26/16

“The only other source to go on the record was Smith’s ex-husband, Paul Bodnar, a former senior director for energy and climate change in the Obama administration’s National Security Council.”
– Carrie Severino, National Review, 10/29/16

“Smith herself has been closely associated with partisan causes for more than two decades, including working for a Democratic state legislator, giving money to Senator Mark Begich (D., Alaska), and serving as national committeewoman for the Young Democrats of Alaska. Smith’s current husband, Jake Metcalfe, was chairman of the Alaska Democratic Party until he stepped down to run for Congress. He withdrew from that race during the primary after his campaign was revealed to be responsible for several fake websites attacking one of his rivals. Metcalfe has worked for unions, too, including the Alaska affiliate of the public-sector employee union AFSCME.”
— Carrie Severino, National Review, 10/29/16.

“Former Alaska Democratic Party Chairman Jake Metcalfe on Wednesday abruptly dropped out of the race for U.S. House, citing a distraction caused by fake Web sites that sought to trash a party rival. … The source of the bogus Web sites remains unclear. Metcalfe’s former campaign manager, Dana Krawchuk, claimed that his political adviser, Bill Scannell talked about such a scheme last year in front of her and Metcalfe. Scannell has denied establishing the fake Webs sites but he resigned last week, saying the allegations were hurting Metcalfe.” — Dan Joling, Juneau Empire, 5/8/08.

(See Parts 124, & 5)

Carrie Severino is chief counsel and policy director to the Judicial Crisis Network.

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