Not an insurmountable problem. But a problem.
The evidence on this point is thin but a bit thicker than the rest of the evidence supporting Ford’s account. Among the boys whom she says she remembers being at the party where she was allegedly assaulted are Kavanaugh and Mark Judge, of course, as well as Patrick “PJ” Smyth and another boy whose name she can’t remember. Lo and behold, on Kavanaugh’s 1982 calendar, in his own handwriting, is an entry for July 1: “Go to Timmy’s for skis with Judge, Tom, P.J., Bernie and Squi.” “Skis” is apparently a reference to “brewskis.” And both Judge and Smyth are among the invitees, as are three others. Do we have a match?
Sheldon Whitehouse, a former prosecutor, zeroed in on that date during Thursday’s Q&A with Kavanaugh, as Ed noted yesterday. Other Democrats have since begun to chatter about it, sensing correctly that it may be the closest they get to independent corroboration that Kavanaugh and Ford were at the same party around the time she says she was assaulted. But there’s a wrinkle:
So it’s pretty obvious that’s not the same party. Ford would have surely said that “Squi” was there. She knew him. She dated him.
— RBe (@RBPundit) September 29, 2018
Oh. And the friend debunked the theory before Whitehouse floated it.
— RBe (@RBPundit) September 29, 2018
Ford acknowledged on Thursday that she “went out with” Kavanaugh’s friend “Squi,” a.k.a. Chris Garrett, another invitee to the party, for a few months around that time. As RB says, how would she not have remembered Squi being at the party if she remembered Smyth, her friend Leland Ingham Keyser, and another boy whose name she can’t recall as being there? She remembered some random dude but not the guy she was dating? It’s inexplicable.
RB is also correct that one of Kavanaugh’s friends was on CNN recently and questioned the July 1 theory. That would be Tom Kane, whom Kavanaugh said on Thursday is the “Tom” in the entry on his calendar for that date. Kane told CNN yesterday that he doesn’t believe his friend assaulted Ford (“til the day I die I will believe that he did not do this”) partly because, he said, he thinks either Kavanaugh or Judge would have let slip something about it in their social circle even if Ford never told anyone. Either way, he doesn’t buy the July 1 date:
BERMAN: OK. So you don’t think that an FBI investigation would turn up anything damaging?
KANE: No. And I can tell you something else. I saw published today that somebody is floating the notion that there was something on July 1 at Tim [Gaudette’s] house. Tim [Gaudette] lived in Rockville. It’s 11 miles away from Columbia country club, and it wasn’t a single family home. It was a town house.
Ford described the scene of the attack in her testimony as a single-family home, although that’s a detail that might understandably be mistaken in a hazy memory. The distance from the country club is more interesting, as Ford told the Washington Post that the assault happened “in Montgomery County, not far from the country club.” Eleven miles would be far if you’re walking and pretty far if you’re biking, although not if you’re driving. Ford was just 15 at the time and Leland Ingham Keyser is only 49 now, meaning that she may have been as young as 13 when the incident occurred. Which raises the question: How did they get to and from this party? Do Judge, Garrett, Kane, Smyth, Gaudette, or any other members of Kavanaugh’s circle remember ever driving Ford and Keyser anywhere? Were the Blasey or Ingham homes close enough to Gaudette’s home to walk there? The FBI will be checking.
The man whom the FBI really needs to talk to in order to flesh out the July 1 theory, though, is Chris “Squi” Garrett, as Byron York says. Like Keyser, Garrett was apparently closer to Ford than the rest of the players in this drama and might at least have detected a change in her mood around the time of the incident even if she didn’t tell him what was wrong. And Garrett would be able (hopefully) to answer a key question about the July 1 party. Did he, in fact, show up or was he merely supposed to attend and backed out for whatever reason? If he remembers being there then it’s almost certain that what happened to Ford didn’t happen on July 1; she would have remembered him as attending. That’s the problem for the anti-Kavanaugh camp I mentioned up top: If Kavanaugh’s calendar is correct about Garrett’s attendance then the incident very likely didn’t happen on July 1. It’s possible, though, that he was supposed to attend and had to cancel, which would explain him being named on Kavanaugh’s calendar but not present in Ford’s memory. If Garrett tells the FBI that he canceled then July 1 is still in play.
Kavanaugh critics have a bigger problem than Garrett, though:
Leland Ingham Keyser, a friend of the woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault when they were at a party in high school, does not refute the veracity of the allegation, although she does not remember the alleged incident, her lawyer said in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee…
“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, Howard Walsh, wrote in the letter, which was sent to the committee overnight Friday. “However, the simple and unchangeable truth is that she is unable to corroborate it because she has no recollection of the incident in question.”
You can dismiss Judge, Smyth, and Kane if you like on grounds that they were Kavanaugh’s bros and would say anything to cover for him, up to and including hiding knowledge of an attempted rape, but the fact that her friend Keyser was supposedly there and doesn’t remember a thing is devastating. Even if she didn’t witness the incident, even if Ford said nothing about it to her, you would think Keyser would have some memory of a sudden and alarming change in Ford’s demeanor at a party when they were younger. Or did Keyser never see Ford after the incident? Here’s how Ford described the immediate aftermath to WaPo:
She said she locked herself in the bathroom and listened until she heard the boys “going down the stairs, hitting the walls.” She said that after five or 10 minutes, she unlocked the door and made her way through the living room and outside. She isn’t sure how she got home.
Again, how far was Ford’s home from the Gaudette home? If it was close enough to walk then that might explain how no one at the party saw Ford traumatized after the attack. If it wasn’t close enough to walk then someone must have driven her and seen up close, firsthand, her distress. Could she have called a parent or sibling to come get her? Do they remember her being suspiciously distressed after a party?
Or did the incident not happen on July 1 at the Gaudette home after all, in which case all of these questions are moot?
Here’s Kane on CNN yesterday affirming his belief in Kavanaugh’s innocence.
“To the day I die, I will believe that he did not do this,” says Brett Kavanaugh’s high school classmate Tom Kane of the sexual assault allegations against the SCOTUS nominee.
“Boys will be boy and I hate that term," he says. pic.twitter.com/xfdtbRuYxx
— New Day (@NewDay) September 28, 2018