No prosecutor would create a case around Christine Blasey Ford's allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Not only that, there isn't even sufficient evidence to prevail in a civil trial, according to veteran sex crimes prosecutor Rachel Mitchell. After carefully reviewing the claims made by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, including hours of testimony, Mitchell doesn't believe that “a reasonable prosecutor would bring this case based on the evidence.”
“Nor do I believe that this evidence is sufficient to satisfy the preponderance-of-the-evidence standard,” she added.
Mitchell lays it all out:
- “In a July 6 text to the Washington Post, she said it happened in the ‘mid 1980s.’”
- “In her July 30 letter to Senator Feinstein, she said it happened in the ‘early 80s.’”
- “Her August 7 statement to the polygrapher said that it happened one ‘high school summer in early 80’s[.]’”
- “[Then] she crossed out the word ‘early’ for reasons she did not explain.”
- “A September 16 Washington Post article reported that Dr. Ford said it happened in the ‘summer of 1982.’”
- “The Washington Post “article reported that notes from an individual therapy session in 2013 show her describing the assault as occurring in her ‘late teens.'”
- “But she told the Post and the Committee that she was 15 when the assault allegedly occurred.”
Ford’s timeline of the trauma she claims the event left her raises questions:
- “She alleges that she struggled academically in college, but she has never made any similar claim about her last two years of high school.”
This is relevant because her final two years of high school were the two years immediately after the event.
Mitchell moves on to lay out how Ford’s version of what happened has been every bit the moving target as the timing of the event. “When speaking with her husband,” Mitchell writes, “Dr. Ford changed her description of the incident to become less specific.”
- “Dr. Ford testified that she told her husband about a ‘sexual assault’ before they were married.”
- “But she told the Washington Post that she informed her husband that she was the victim of ‘physical abuse’ at the beginning of their marriage.”
- “She testified that, both times, she was referring to the same incident.”
Now it is an attempted sexual assault.
Mitchell explains that Ford’s “inability to remember” where the house where the event took place “raises significant questions.” As does her inability to remember how she “got from the party back to her house.”
- “She told the Washington Post that the party took place … more than 7 miles from her childhood home … that it was a roughly 20-minute drive from her childhood home.”
- “She also agreed for the first time in her testimony that she was driven somewhere that night, either to the party or from the party or both.”
- “But she has no memory of who drove her or when. Nor has anyone come forward to identify him or herself as the driver.”
- “Given that this all took place before cell phones, arranging a ride home would not have been easy.”
- “Indeed, she stated that she ran out of the house after coming downstairs and did not state that she made a phone call from the house before she did, or…”
- “…that she called anyone else thereafter.”
- “Dr. Ford testified that her friend Leland, apparently the only other girl at the party, did not follow up with Dr. Ford after the party to ask why she had suddenly disappeared.”
In other words, how did Ford get home? She had no cell phone. She testified that she did not call anyone to pick her up while she was in the house. She testified that she ran out of the house without telling anyone, so no one in the house gave her a ride home. How did she arrange a ride home?
Mitchell moves on to Ford’s “account of the alleged assault,” and how she “has not offered a consistent account[.]”
- “According to her letter to Senator Feinstein, Dr. Ford heard Judge Kavanaugh and Mark Judge talking to other partygoers downstairs while she was hiding in the bathroom after the alleged assault.”
- “But according to her testimony, she could not hear them talking to anyone.”
- “In her letter, she stated, ‘I locked the door behind me. Both loudly stumbled down the stairwell, at which point other persons at the house were talking with them.’”
- “She testified that, after the incident, she ran into the bathroom, locked the door, and heard them going downstairs. But she maintained that she could not hear their conversation with others when they got downstairs.”
- “Instead, she testified that she ‘assum[ed]’ a conversation took place.”
In the Feinstein letter, though, Ford makes it sound as though hearing the conversation downstairs was her signal that it was safe for her to leave the bathroom.
Mitchell then points out the glaring inconsistencies in Ford’s account of who and how many people attended the 1982 house party.
- “According to the Washington Post’s account of her therapy notes, there were four boys in the bedroom in which she was assaulted.”
- “She told the Washington Post that the notes were erroneous because there were four boys at the party, but only two in the bedroom.”
- “In her letter to Senator Feinstein, she said ‘me and 4 others’ were present at the party.
- “In her testimony, she said there were four boys in addition to Leland Keyser and herself.”
- “She could not remember the name of the fourth boy, and no one has come forward.”
- “Dr. Ford listed Patrick ‘PJ’ Smyth as a ‘bystander’ in her statement to the polygrapher and in her July 6 text to the Washington Post, although…”
- “…she testified that it was inaccurate to call him a bystander.”
- “She did not list Leland Keyser even though they are good friends.”
- “Leland Keyser’s presence should have been more memorable than PJ Smyth’s.”
Why would Ford fail to note in her polygrapher statement that her best friend Leland Keyser was at the party, a woman who is still a lifelong friend.
Despite their friendship. Keyser maintains (under penalty of a felony) she has no memory of this house party and that she has never even met Kavanaugh.
Mitchell also focused on Ford’s memory of recent events.
- “Dr. Ford struggled to remember her interactions with the Washington Post.”
- “Dr. Ford could not remember if she showed a full or partial set of therapy notes to the Washington Post reporter.”
- “She does not remember whether she showed the Post reporter the therapist’s notes or her own summary of those notes.”
- “The Washington Post article said that “portions” of her “therapist’s notes” were “provided by Ford and reviewed by” the Post. But…”
- “…in her testimony, Dr. Ford could not recall whether she summarized the notes for the reporter or showed her the actual records.”
- “She does not remember if she actually had a copy of the notes when she texted the Washington Post WhatsApp account on July 6.”
- “Dr. Ford said in her first WhatsApp message to the Post that she ‘ha[d] therapy notes talking about’ the incident when she contacted the Post’s tipline.”
- “She testified that she had reviewed her therapy notes before contacting the Post to determine whether they mentioned anything about the alleged incident, but…”
- “…could not remember if she had a copy of those notes, as she said in her WhatsApp message, or merely reviewed them in her therapist’s office.”
Ford claims she cannot even remember crucial events around her polygraph test, which she took in August, less than 60 days prior to her Committee testimony:
- “Dr. Ford could not remember if she was being audio- or video-recorded when she took the polygraph. And…”
- “…she could not remember whether the polygraph occurred the same day as her grandmother’s funeral or the day after her grandmother’s funeral.”
Mitchell adds that “It would also have been inappropriate to administer a polygraph to someone who was grieving.”
Mitchell reminds the Committee that “Dr. Ford refused to provide any of her therapy notes to” them, which means we will never know the truth of anything, not only because Ford will not provide the notes, but because she claims she cannot recall if she showed the Post the actual therapist notes or her version of them.
Mitchell lays out Ford’s comments about her claim she is afraid of flying, a fear that delayed everything for a full week.
- “The date of the hearing was delayed because the Committee was informed that her [PTSD] symptoms prevent her from flying.”
- “But she agreed during her testimony that she flies ‘fairly frequently for [her] hobbies and … work’.”
- “She flies to the midAtlantic at least once a year to visit her family.”
- “She has flown to Hawaii, French Polynesia, and Costa Rica.”
- “She also flew to Washington, D.C. for the hearing.”
Mitchell goes on to not only lay out the facts that again point to a delaying tactic, but undercut Ford’s claim she wished to remain anonymous:
- “Note too that her attorneys refused a private hearing or interview.”
- “Dr. Ford testified that she was not “clear” on whether [Committee] investigators were willing to travel to California to interview her.”
- “It therefore is not clear that her attorneys ever communicated Chairman Grassley’s offer to send investigators to meet her in California or wherever she wanted to meet to conduct the interview.”
Elsewhere in her report, Mitchell points out the inconsistencies in Ford’s repeated claim she wished to remain anonymous and would have preferred a private interview:
- “She claimed originally that she wished for her story to remain confidential, but…
- “…the person operating the tipline at the Washington Post was the first person other than her therapist or husband to whom she disclosed the identity of her alleged attacker.”
- “She testified that she had a ‘sense of urgency to relay the information to the Senate and the president.’ She did not contact the Senate, however, because…”
- “…she claims she ‘did not know how to do that.'”
- “She does not explain why she knew how to contact her Congresswoman but not her Senator.”
Ford’s team turning down the Committee’s offer to have her give testimony privately, at her home in California, also delayed things.
Finally there is the issue of Ford’s three “witnesses,” all of whom refute her account.
- “Dr. Ford has named three people other than Judge Kavanaugh who attended the party— Mark Judge, Patrick ‘PJ’ Smyth, and her lifelong friend Leland Keyser.”
- “Dr. Ford testified to the Committee that another boy attended the party, but that she could not remember his name.”
- “No others have come forward.”
- “All three named eyewitnesses have submitted statements to the Committee denying any memory of the party whatsoever.”
- “Most relevantly, in her first statement to the Committee, Ms. Keyser [Ford’s lifelong friend] stated through counsel that, ‘[s]imply put, Ms. Keyser does not know Mr. Kavanaugh and she has no recollection of ever being at a party or gathering where he was present, with, or without, Dr. Ford.’”
- “In a subsequent statement to the Committee through counsel, Ms. Keyser said that ‘the simple and unchangeable truth is that she is unable to corroborate [Dr. Ford’s allegations] because she has no recollection of the incident in question.’”
- “Moreover, Dr. Ford testified that her friend Leland, apparently the only other girl at the party, did not follow up with Dr. Ford after the party to ask why she had suddenly disappeared.”
Before attaching a detailed timeline, Mitchell concludes with, “The activities of congressional Democrats and Dr. Ford’s attorneys likely affected Dr. Ford’s account.”