News

Law & the Courts

Ford’s Friend Felt Pressured to Revise Her Initial Statement Denying Knowledge of Assault

Christine Blasey Ford testifies about sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh at the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., September 27, 2018. (Gabriella Demczuk/Reuters)

Christine Blasey Ford’s lifelong friend, Leland Keyser, told the FBI she felt pressured by Ford’s allies to reconsider her initial statement in which she denied any knowledge of the high-school gathering where Ford claims she was sexually assaulted by Brett Kavanaugh.

Keyser specifically accused Monica McLean, a retired FBI agent and friend of Ford’s, of pressuring her to modify her statement, the Wall Street Journal reports.

After sending its report detailing the supplementary background investigation into Kavanaugh to the White House and Senate on Wednesday, the FBI sent additional documentation detailing text-message exchanges between Keyser and McLean that reportedly confirm Keyser’s account of their communications.

In a statement on Friday, McLean’s attorney denied that his client pressured Keyser in any way.

“Any notion or claim that Ms. McLean pressured Leland Keyser to alter Ms. Keyser’s account of what she recalled concerning the alleged incident between Dr. Ford and Brett Kavanaugh is absolutely false,” said McLean’s attorney, David Laufman.

In her initial statement, issued on September 23, Keyser denied ever having attended a gathering like the one Ford describes, and she also denied ever having met Kavanaugh. According to Ford, Keyser was downstairs at a house in suburban Maryland when Kavanaugh trapped her in an upstairs bedroom and groped her.

McLean reportedly advised Keyser that her statement would be used by Republican lawmakers to discredit Ford. In order to bolster Ford’s claims, McLean instructed Keyser to revise her statement to reflect that she did not remember the gathering in question, rather than denying it ever took place.

Two days after the public hearing before the Judiciary Committee last week, Keyser’s attorney clarified her position in a letter to the committee, emphasizing his client’s belief in the veracity of Ford’s allegations.

“Ms. Keyser does not refute Dr. Ford’s account, and she has already told the press that she believes Dr. Ford’s account,” Keyser’s attorney wrote. “However, the simple and unchangeable truth is that she is unable to corroborate it because she has no recollection of the incident in question.”

Most Popular

Sports

It’s Time for Colin Kaepernick to Move On

Colin Kaepernick. Remember him? Below-average quarterback. Above-average poseur. Not “activist,” not really. Activists actually say stuff. Kaepernick almost never says anything. He’s like the Queen or most popes — you have to read the deep-background musings of supposed members of his inner circle to get ... Read More
U.S.

What The 1619 Project Leaves Out

“The goal of The 1619 Project, a major initiative from The New York Times that this issue of the magazine inaugurates, is to reframe American history by considering what it would mean to regard 1619 as our nation’s birth year,” The New York Times Magazine editors declare. “Doing so requires us to place ... Read More
Elections

Trump and the Black Vote

"Donald Trump is a racist, white supremacist, white nationalist. So are his supporters." Some version of that refrain is heard almost hourly somewhere in mainstream media. Democratic politicians seem to proclaim it more often than that. Listening only to the Left, you'd conclude that more than half a ... Read More
PC Culture

Courage Is the Cure for Political Correctness

This might come as some surprise to observers of our campus culture wars, but there was a time, not long ago, when the situation in American higher education was much worse. There a wave of vicious campus activism aimed at silencing heterodox speakers, and it was typically empowered by a comprehensive regime of ... Read More
U.S.

The Age of Miscalculation

On August 7, 1998, more than 200 people were killed in terrorist attacks on U.S. embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya. Americans learned three names most of them never had heard before: Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden, and al-Qaeda. On August 20, 1998, President Bill Clinton ordered a ... Read More