The Corner

Law & the Courts

Dr. Ford’s Statement Previews the Coming Impasse

In preparation for tomorrow’s hearing, Christine Blasey Ford has released her opening statement. Having read it, I’m struggling to see a path forward that doesn’t end in an impasse. Ford repeats her accusations against Kavanaugh but names no new witnesses and gives no new information. She also confirms that she did not name Kavanaugh as the alleged assailant to anyone “outside of therapy” “until July 2018” when she “saw press reports stating that Brett Kavanaugh was on the “short list” of potential Supreme Court nominees”:

I do not recall each person I spoke to about Brett’s assault, and some friends have reminded me of these conversations since the publication of The Washington Post story on September 16, 2018. But until July 2018, I had never named Mr. Kavanaugh as my attacker outside of therapy.

This all changed in early July 2018. I saw press reports stating that Brett Kavanaugh was on the “short list” of potential Supreme Court nominees. I thought it was my civic duty to relay the information I had about Mr. Kavanaugh’s conduct so that those considering his potential nomination would know about the assault.

Per the Washington Post, Kavanaugh’s name is not in the therapist’s notes:

The therapist’s notes, portions of which were provided by Ford and reviewed by The Washington Post, do not mention Kavanaugh’s name but say she reported that she was attacked by students “from an elitist boys’ school” who went on to become “highly respected and high-ranking members of society in Washington.”

Which is to say that we have an accusation that has not been corroborated by any of the named witnesses, all of whom have either said that it categorically did not happen, or that they do not know Brett Kavanaugh, or that they have no memory of any such party or event; that is strenuously denied by the accused; and that was not fleshed out to anyone other than the accuser’s husband until the day Kavanaugh’s name became national news. That strikes me as a recipe for disaster. What Christine Blasey Ford is alleging is unprovable either way, which means that this question will most likely come down to who is the most likable in front of a microphone. Prepare for a war of attrition.

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