We should start with a recent update to the on again, off again plans for Christine Blasey Ford to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee. As of Sunday afternoon, Ford’s attorneys have announced that a deal has been reached for her to testify on Thursday. But as always, there are caveats. The lawyers added that “they still wanted to negotiate the terms of her appearance.” In other words, there’s no real agreement yet since we’ve heard this story before. But with that out of the way, there’s another question hanging over Ford’s story which really needs to be addressed.
When Ed introduced the lastest player in the Christine Blasey Ford saga last night, it seemed like bad news for Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s detractors. The identity of the fourth person at the alleged party where Ford claims to have been assaulted turned out to be Leland Ingham Keyser, who describes herself as a “lifelong friend” of Ford’s. Unfortunately for Ford’s story, Keyser released a statement saying that she’s never met Kavanaugh and, like everyone else listed as party attendees, has no recollection of any such party.
There’s one element to this latest revelation which should be setting off some alarm bells. Ford has maintained from the beginning that there were four other people at the party that night. As Ed Morrissey correctly notes, we now have the full list. They include Brett Kavanaugh, Mark Judge (the sort-of accomplice), Patrick “PJ” Smyth and now Leland Ingham Keyser. But let’s recall how this whole affair began.
As revealed by both the Washington Post and the New York Times, Ford originally sent a letter to her Representative, Anna Eshoo. With the congresswoman’s help, the information was sent to one of her senators, Dianne Feinstein. After it was obvious her identity was going to go public, Ford additionally contacted the Washington Post on September 16th. In all of these documents and conversations, one thing was consistent. She claimed that in addition to Kavanaugh and Judge, there were two other boys at the party.
This “fact” was central to the development of the record of events. You’ll also recall that the letter from her therapist mistakenly claimed (according to the therapist) that they had incorrectly recorded Ford recounting being attacked by four boys. Ford herself accounted for that discrepancy by saying that four boys were at the party, but only two of them had followed her upstairs and assaulted her while the other two boys remained downstairs, unaware of what was taking place.
With more than thirty-five years having gone by, one might understandably forgive Ms. Ford if she couldn’t remember the identities of the other boys downstairs, particularly if they hadn’t kept in touch over the decades. Heck, I probably couldn’t name more than one out of five members of my high school senior class if you showed me their graduation pictures today. But Keyser doesn’t fall into that category. She was supposedly not only at the party, but stayed in touch, remaining friends with Ford for all of these years.
So how would Ford write a letter stating there were four boys at the party when one of the alleged partygoers was not only female but someone she’s known all her life?
Up until now, I’ve avoided any direct accusation of mendacity on the part of Christine Blasey Ford, though the incredibly convenient timing of the release of this information made it tempting. Of those people who have spoken to her, all describe her as being credible, professional and an upright citizen. I’ve pondered how her story could be squared with the blunt denials of Kavanaugh and Mike Judge, along with the lack of any memory of such an event by the other supposed attendees. Given all the time that’s passed, I wondered if perhaps Ford had actually been to such a party and suffered an assault, but it was with someone else and her mind was just filling in a blank with Kavanaugh’s name. Such things can certainly happen as we get older and our memories become less reliable. (Trust me on that one.)
But now? The idea that one of the “other two boys” turned out to be not only a woman, but someone Ford has known all her life is a bit much to swallow. This story is starting to stink on ice.