A woman believed to have been one of five people at a party some 35 years ago where Christine Blasey Ford claims she was sexually assaulted by Brett Kavanaugh has become the fourth person to deny any recollection of the event.
In a Saturday night email to the Senate Judiciary Committee also received by several news outlets, Leland Ingham Keyser – a “longtime friend” of Blasey Ford’s said through her attorney:
“Simply 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,” said Keyser’s attorney Howard Walsh, who has been “engaged in the limited capacity” of corresponding with the committee on behalf of Keyser, according to Politico.
Kavanaugh and Mark Judge – the other teenager allegedly in the room during the alleged sexual assault – have both stated that they have no recollection of the incident, while a third man who Ford claims was at the party – Patrick J. Smyth, also denied any recollection of the event, telling the Judiciary Committee last week in a statement: “I understand that I have been identified by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford as the person she remembers as ‘PJ’ who supposedly was present at the party she described in her statements to the Washington Post,” Smyth wrote in his statement. “I am issuing this statement today to make it clear to all involved that I have no knowledge of the party in question; nor do I have any knowledge of the allegations of improper conduct she has leveled against Brett Kavanaugh.”
Smyth added: “Personally speaking, I have known Brett Kavanaugh since high school and I know him to be a person of great integrity, a great friend, and I have never witnessed any improper conduct by Brett Kavanaugh towards women. To safeguard my own privacy and anonymity, I respectfully request that the Committee accept this statement in response to any inquiry the Committee may have.”
On Saturday night, a tentative deal was reached for Ford to testify publicly on Thursday, according to the New York Times.
After a brief call late on Saturday, the woman’s lawyers and aides to Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the Republican chairman of the Judiciary Committee, planned to talk again Sunday morning to continue the halting negotiations over the conditions of the testimony, according to three people familiar with the call. Aides to Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, the committee’s top Democrat, were also involved. –NY Times
The Times notes, however, that Leland Keyser’s statement “seemed to eliminate any chance of corroboration of Dr. Blasey’s account by anyone who attended the high school party where she says she was assaulted.”
If no deal is reached for Blasey Ford’s testimony next week, Sen. Grassley will be left to decide on Sunday whether or not to move ahead with a scheduled vote to confirm Kavanaugh on Monday.
Grassley has engaged in a back-and-forth with Ford’s legal team, allowing them to miss several deadlines to continue negotiations. While Grassley may be trying to avoid the appearance of the Judiciary Committee panel of 11 men bullying an female victim alleging sexual assault, many conservatives have expressed frustration at the Chairman’s acquiescence to virtually every demand Ford has made.
Shut this down.
Everyone at the party has said they have no idea what Christine Blasey Ford is talking about, even her longtime friend Leland Ingham Keyser!
— The Columbia Bugle 🇺🇸 (@ColumbiaBugle) September 23, 2018
4 witnesses (one of Ford’s longtime friends)support Brett Kavanaugh vs Christine Blasey Ford.
Time to end this and move on. #ConfirmBrettKavanaugh
— The Columbia Bugle 🇺🇸 (@ColumbiaBugle) September 23, 2018
Also potentially damaging to Blasey Ford’s claim is a theory presented Thursday by Ed Whelan, a former clerk to USSC Justice Antonin Scalia and currently president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center (EPPC), a conservative think tank. Using entirely circumstantial evidence which could certainly ruin the life of the man at the center of the new theory, Whelan suggested that Kavanaugh’s high school doppelgänger, Chris Garrett, may have in fact been responsible for Blasey Ford’s recollection of the alleged incident.
Whelan apologized for publicly naming Kavanaugh’s look-alike hours later, perhaps to provide legal cover, however he did not retract his theory that Ford may be “misremembering” the incident.
Also casting doubt on the timing and purpose of Ford’s 11th hour claim against Kavanaugh is the Friday revalation that Ford’s current political adviser – former Obama and Clinton White House official Ricky Seidman, had allegedly been working on Ford’s situation since July – outlining a plan on a newly released audio tape to use the allegation as political fodder to derail Kavanaugh’s confirmation, and if unsuccessful, at least politically harm Republicans during midterms.
“While I think at the outset, looking at the numbers in the Senate, it’s not extremely likely that the nominee can be defeated,” says Seidman. “I would absolutely withhold judgement as the process goes on. I think that I would not reach any conclusion about the outcome in advance.”
What’s more, the recording makes clear that even if Kavanaugh is confirmed, Democrats can use the doubt cast over him during midterms.
“Over the coming days and weeks, there will be a strategy that will emerge, and I think it’s possible that that strategy might ultimately defeat the nominee… whether or not it ultimately defeats the nominee, it will help people understand why it’s so important that they vote and the deeper principles that are involved in it.”
Meanwhile, over 200 women have defended Kavanaugh’s moral character, including two ex-girlfriends who vouched for the Judge.
“He was always a perfect gentleman, and I vouch for him completely,” Maura Fitzgerald said. “Brett Kavanaugh and I have been good friends since high school. I dated him in college and he was and is nothing like the person who has been described” by Christine Blasey Ford.
“He always conducted himself honorably with me at all times when we were together,” Fitzgerald explained.
Another woman who dated Kavanaugh in high school, Maura Kane, agreed with Fitzgerald.
“I’ve been friends with Brett Kavanaugh for over 35 years, and dated him during high school,” Kane explained. “In every situation where we were together he always respectful, kind and thoughtful.The accusations leveled against him in no way represent the decent young man I knew.”
Kane concluded, “We remain good friends and I admire him as a husband, father and professional.” –PJ Media
Meanwhile, Ford has been backed largely by people with no knowledge of the situation, such as celebrities and non-public figures who simply believe her story.