“A ‘he said, she said’ case is incredibly difficult to prove. But this case is even weaker than that.” – Rachel Mitchell
During the hearings where Judge Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, was questioned, the Republicans deferred their questions to Maricopa County sex crimes prosecutor Rachel Mitchell. Well now, a memo from Rachel Mitchell has been released. Mitchell begins by saying that she was not pressured to write the memo, notes that she works in the “legal world, not the political world,” and then begins to systematically explain the problems with Ford’s case.
She begins, “I do not think a reasonable prosecutor would bring this case based on the evidence before the committee. Nor do I believe that this evidence is sufficient to satisfy the preponderance-of-the-evidence standard.”
Why did she say that? Well, to begin with…
1. What year did this actually happen?
We have been proceeding with the idea that this alleged party occurred in 1982. Actually, as Mitchell notes, Ford’s story has changed quite a bit. In fact, it’s conceivable that there is a range of four to five years that this could have happened in.
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,” but 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.”
Similarly, the September 16 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. She has not turned over her therapy records for the Committee to review.
Did this happen in the early eighties or the mid-eighties? In her late teens or at 15? The fact that Ford can’t even pin down the YEAR this supposedly happened makes this whole allegation faintly ridiculous.
2. Ford has no memory of many key details that could help prove her story
As many people have noted, Ford does not know the most basic details about the attack that supposedly happened. There are so few details that you could very fairly ask what the proof is that there was ever a party at all, much less that Brett Kavanaugh attended or did something to Ford.
She does not remember in what house the assault allegedly took place or where that house was located with any specificity.
Perhaps most importantly, she does not remember how she got from the party back to her house.
Her inability to remember this detail raises significant questions.
She told the Washington Post that the party took place near the Columbia Country Club. The Club is more than 7 miles from her childhood home as the crow flies, and she testified 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.
Dr. Ford was able to describe hiding in the bathroom, locking the door, and subsequently exiting the house. She also described wanting to make sure that she did not look like she had been attacked.
But she has no memory of who drove her or when. Nor has anyone come forward to identify himself 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.
With the almost non-existent level of detail combined with the fact that she doesn’t seem to really know what year this happened, how do you investigate? Talk to every person within a five-year age range who lived within 50 miles? It’s ridiculous.
3. Is she honest and is she mentally reliable enough to be trusted?
Many people falsely believe that they can judge someone’s credibility just by hearing a person speak, without knowing anything else about her. This is not even remotely true. Ford’s false claims about her fear of flying (which were blamed on Brett Kavanaugh) and her potential therapeutic issues make it impossible to take anything she says at face value.
She maintains that she suffers from anxiety, claustrophobia, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The date of the hearing was delayed because the Committee was informed that her 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 mid-Atlantic 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.
Note, too, that her attorneys refused a private hearing or interview. Dr. Ford testified that she was not “clear” on whether 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.
She alleges that she struggled academically in college, but she has never made any similar claim about her last two years of high school.
It is significant that she used the word “contributed” when she described the psychological impact of the incident to the Washington Post. Use of the word “contributed” rather than “caused” suggests that other life events may have contributed to her symptoms. When questioned on that point, she said that she could think of “nothing as striking as” the alleged assault.
Is Ford lying? Maybe. Does she have other mental issues that could cause her to invent this whole thing? Maybe. Could something else have happened to her and decades later, did she insert Brett Kavanaugh into the memory possibly because of the type of therapy she experienced? Maybe. These are all genuine possibilities. Her therapist’s notes might help answer these questions, but she chose not to provide them.
4. All of her own witnesses refute her claim
It’s devastating to your case when your OWN WITNESSES that you cite to prove your case refute your claim. How does anyone take this seriously under those circumstances?
Dr. Ford’s account of the alleged assault has not been corroborated by anyone she identified as having attended—including her lifelong friend.
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 (née Ingham).
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 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.
If this were an enormous party, it could be plausible that Ford’s friend Keyser wouldn’t remember Kavanaugh. However, when you claim that there are a grand total of five people (the number keeps changing) at a party and two of them are Brett Kavanaugh and Leland Keyser, it’s hard to believe that Keyser wouldn’t even realize that she met him.
5. Her testimony about the party has frequently changed
Ford has offered up almost no details about the mystery party that she claims happened, but her crucial claim about who was at the party has changed over time.
Her account of who was at the party has been inconsistent.
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.
Look at what we are left with after this memo. We don’t have the time, date, location, how she got to the party, how she got home, or really even the year this party supposedly took place. Every one of her own witnesses has refuted her story. Ford’s testimony about the party has changed. She was caught in a lie about her fear of flying. The only evidence we have that a crime was committed or that there was even a party at all is the extremely unreliable, unprovable testimony of Christine Blasey Ford. That’s why Mitchell quite correctly said this is even weaker than a “he said, she said’ case.”