Glad they waited until the eve of the cloture vote to make this clear, after a week of theorizing by chumps like me and days spent by the FBI interviewing people named on Kavanaugh’s calendar on that date.
Christine Blasey Ford would have ruled out a key date that both Republicans and Democrats have examined in evaluating her sexual assault claim against Brett Kavanaugh, had the FBI contacted her for its inquiry, according to a member of her team…
But a member of Ford’s team said the California-based professor — who was not interviewed by the FBI for its inquiry — “would have told them that she never considered July 1 as a possible date, because of some of the people listed on his calendar who she knew well and would have remembered.”
“She would have also told the FBI that it was just a regular summer night for everyone else who was there,” the member of Ford’s team added. “There would have been no reason for them to remember it.”
That’s exactly the point skeptics like me of the July 1 theory made in criticizing it. It was an intriguing possibility because two of the people whom Ford remembers as being present, Mark Judge and Patrick Smyth, were also listed on Kavanaugh’s calendar as attending the drink-up at Tim Gaudette’s home on July 1. Problem: Chris “Squi” Garrett was also listed, and Garrett is the boy whom Ford went out with for a spell. It’s almost impossible to believe she would have remembered a rando like Smyth being there but not someone like Garrett, whom she knew well.
Which raises anew the mystery of how Ford and Kavanaugh supposedly ended up at a party together, and not a big house party with dozens and dozens of people there either. Garrett was the link between Ford and Kavanaugh’s circle of friends. It’d be logical to assume that if she and Kavanaugh really did cross paths at a small party, it would have been because she accompanied Garrett there. If Ford herself is now saying that there’s no chance Garrett was present and therefore it couldn’t have happened on July 1, how did she and Leland Keyser end up at the party? Rachel Mitchell was interested during the hearing in trying to figure out how 15-year-old Ford got to and from the party, which was a good question, but a related one is what friends she and Kavanaugh had in common besides Garrett that might have brought them to the same place at the same time. Were there any? Remember, Keyser doesn’t recall ever even meeting Kavanaugh.
Exit question via Seth Mandel:
Dr. Ford is the only accuser–no Avenatti circus. Her testimony is heartrending and moving.
But Kavanaugh isn't emotional in his, because he hasn't been accused of running a rape gang.
— Seth Mandel (@SethAMandel) October 4, 2018
Does the answer depend on whether Deborah Ramirez also accused Kavanaugh of misconduct in this alternate universe? You can imagine him being outraged at multiple last-minute accusations, which reeks of a smear campaign; being boorishly outraged if it was just Ford, after she’d testified compellingly right before him, would have been harder to pull off. If he had been emotional in that scenario, it would have come off as disproportionate to what he’d been accused of. The entrance of Avenatti and Julie Swetnick’s outlandish accusations into this fiasco turned it into a circus and made Kavanaugh’s anger much more understandable. (Thanks, Avenatti!)
Mandel thinks the nomination would have been withdrawn if Kavanaugh had testified meekly, in a low-key way, after Ford. I highly doubt it: Trump never would have backed down and Kavanaugh himself would have justified hanging in there based on the fact that there’s zero corroborating evidence for Ford’s account. I do think the Senate would have voted him down, though. As it is, as I write this at 11 a.m. ET, it looks like he’s going to squeak through. In America 2018 anger is almost always your best political option.
Update: I tweaked the headline to clarify that this came from a “member of Ford’s team,” which I assume means one of her lawyers. (Who else would be on her “team”?) But since it’s not certain, I’ll use the vaguer term.