During her public testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday, Christine Blasey Ford admitted that she has flown often for business and pleasure in recent years despite citing her fear of flight in requesting that the hearing regarding her allegations against Brett Kavanaugh be delayed.
In explaining why their client could not grant Committee chairman Chuck Grassley’s request that she travel to Washington, D.C. to testify on September 17, Ford’s lawyers cited her unwillingness to fly, which they claimed stemmed from her fear of enclosed spaces. Ford’s attorney’s further alleged her claustrophobia was brought on by the alleged assault.
Rachel Mitchell, the Arizona sex-crimes prosecutor retained by the Committee to ask questions of Ford and Kavanaugh, established during the hearing that Ford traveled by plane to Washington, D.C. to testify regarding her claim that Kavanaugh pinned her down and tried to remove her clothes when they were in high school.
“May I ask, Dr. Ford, how did you get to Washington?,” Mitchell asked.
“By airplane,” Ford responded.
“I ask that because it’s been reported by the press that you would not submit to an interview with the Committee because of your fear of flying, is that true?” Mitchell asked.
“Well I was hoping that they would come to me but then I realized that was an unrealistic request,” Ford responded.
Mitchell went on to establish that Ford flies frequently as part of her work for an Australian consulting firm, to visit family on the East coast, and to pursue her interests in Hawaiian culture, oceanography, and surfing.
“In fact, you fly fairly frequently for your hobbies and you’ve had to fly for your work, is that true?” Mitchell asked.
“Correct, unfortunately,” Ford answered.
“It’s easier to travel going that direction when it’s a vacation,” Ford added after Mitchell concluded her questioning.
Ford’s lawyer’s requested the delay as they were negotiating with Judiciary Committee staff, asking that they postpone the hearing until an FBI investigation could be conducted. Two more women came forward to accuse Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct during the intervening days.