Ford's polygraph claim about how many people were at the party doesn't match the claim in Feinstein's letter

Wish I could say I’d noticed this first but it was Charles Cooke who did.

This isn’t the first time a curious discrepancy has arisen regarding the number of people at the party. Remember the original WaPo story, when Ford first came forward?

Ford said she told no one of the incident in any detail until 2012, when she was in couples therapy with her husband. The therapist’s notes, portions of which were provided by Ford and reviewed by The Washington Post, do not mention Kavanaugh’s name but say she reported that she was attacked by students “from an elitist boys’ school” who went on to become “highly respected and high-ranking members of society in Washington.” The notes say four boys were involved, a discrepancy Ford says was an error on the therapist’s part. Ford said there were four boys at the party but only two in the room.

Did the therapist really make an error or have Ford’s memories, like Deborah Ramirez’s, simply evolved over time?

Regardless, the letter to Feinstein and the written account Ford prepared for the polygraph were separated by just eight days. And neither statement was made casually, when one might allow for a greater risk of misstatement, or dictated to a third party as the therapist’s notes were. It’s Ford in her own written words in both cases. In the first case she was alerting a U.S. senator in writing, under her own name, about an attempted rape that could derail a nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. In the second case she was recounting the incident for purposes of a polygraph examination conducted by a former FBI agent which she knew would be instrumental in proving her credibility. In both cases, in other words, she was wracking her brain to recall the details. Just a week (and a day) apart. She still got a basic fact wrong.


Another good catch:

“Two persons” is scratched out in the handwritten polygraph statement but otherwise uncorrected. Why? Did she remember that Kavanaugh alone pushed her? If so, why’d she write “two persons” initially?

Here’s the report from Ford’s polygraph, by the way. I’ll defer to lawyers as always, but this seems thin even by the usual quasi-scientific standards of polygraphs:

“Patrick,” a lawyer who blogs at Ken White’s respected Popehat site, says his already low opinion of polygraphs sunk lower after reading that:

Why ask Ford whether her entire written statement is true in its totality instead of going point by point through it to confirm that each individual fact alleged is true? The point of a polygraph is to test for physiological signs of stress, evidence that the subject knows he or she is being deceptive. Stress is more likely to manifest, one would think, when the subject is pinned down about a particular possible falsehood. Asking about a broader narrative that might contain some truth and some lies should reduce that stress, increasing the risk of a false “no deception” result.

The report says the two questions above are the “relevant” ones from the exam, leaving open the possibility that other, more specific questions — including the standard calibration questions with which these exams start (“Is your name Christine Blasey Ford?”) — were asked but omitted here. Even then, says Patrick, how can we trust that that was done properly?

Well, no matter, really. Whether Kavanaugh is actually confirmed or not increasingly feels like a subplot. The main plot is the enormous damage that’s being done to each side’s perceptions of the other, which were already very heavily damaged before this sh*tshow began. Exit quotation from Philip Klein: