Boom … or bust? Fox reporter John Roberts obtained a sworn statement from someone claiming to be a former boyfriend of Christine Blasey Ford, offering some intriguing tidbits from their relationship but also contradicting a specific point of her testimony last Thursday. The letter claims that Ford did provide some assistance to her roommate and friend to prepare for a government-administered polygraph test. That would contradict Ford’s sworn testimony in the Senate hearing, in which she not only testified that she’d received no guidance on polygraphs but that she herself had “never” given any to others.
Perjury? Well, hold up on the grand jury for just a moment. Here’s the letter:
BREAKING: Fox’s @johnrobertsFox obtains letter from Ford ex-boyfriend alleging: dated for 6 yrs, never told of sex assault, Ford coached friend on taking polygraph, flew frequently w/o expressing any fear of flying/tight spaces/limited exits. Doesn’t want to b/c “involved”. pic.twitter.com/jVeW0qaJD0
— Shannon Bream (@ShannonBream) October 3, 2018
In case it’s tough to read in this format, here’s the most pertinent claim from the ex-boyfriend:
During some of the time we were dating, Dr. Ford lived with Monica L. McLean, who I understood to be her life-long best friend. During that time, it was my understanding that McLean was interviewing with jobs with the FBI and the US Attorney’s Office. I witnessed Dr. Ford help McLean prepare for a potential polygraph exam. Dr. Ford explained in detail what to expect, how polygraphs worked and helped McLean become familiar and less nervous about the exam. Dr. Ford was able to help because of her background in psychology.
If this is on the level, Ford could be in some trouble. Here’s the exchange with Republican staff counsel Rachel Mitchell from Thursday on the topic of polygraphs. Pay attention to the final question, in which Mitchell specifically asks whether Ford has advised others on taking polygraphs:
Prosecutor Rachel Mitchell: "Have you ever given tips or advice to somebody who was looking to take a polygraph test?"
Christine Blasey Ford: "Never." pic.twitter.com/k5Pm424f22
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) September 30, 2018
“Never,” Ford replies to the question. That is an unequivocal statement that this letter directly contradicts. If the letter is on the level, then at the very least it impeaches Ford’s credibility, which then undermines her already vague claim against Brett Kavanaugh. At worst, it theoretically could put Ford at risk of perjury.
How seriously should this letter be taken? Senate Judiciary chair Chuck Grassley confirmed in a letter to Ford’s attorneys that it is a sworn statement under penalty of prosecution itself. With this testimony in hand, Grassley demanded that Ford turn over the same therapy records she provided to the Washington Post on the basis of this testimony, as well as all recordings of the polygraph session:
10.02.18 CEG to Ford Attorn… by on Scribd
So clearly Grassley isn’t playing around. Still, there may be some reasons for at least a little skepticism. The letter contains some pretty significant indications of personal animus on the part of the ex-boyfriend, including an allegation of unfaithfulness and an accusation that Ford used his credit cards after they broke up. If nothing else, the ex-BF might have a significant axe to grind, and this would be the perfect time to wreak revenge.
This also assumes that the person actually is an ex-boyfriend of Ford’s. As Fox News points out, McLean’s name was on the list of people supporting Ford, so it easily obtainable from the public record. Other than the credit-card fraud, it’s the only specific testimony the letter gives, and even that doesn’t have a specific date or even year attached to it. We’ve seen a lot of claims coming out of the woodwork against Brett Kavanaugh that so far turned out to be busts, including the Julie Swetnick train wreck and the man retracted a claim of witnessing a rape by Kavanaugh on a boat. The latter faces a potential FBI probe for lying to Congress. People get a perverse thrill out of injecting themselves into national news stories whether they belong there or not. Even claims made under legal risk need to be tested and corroborated before taking them seriously … as this entire episode should have taught everyone.
This should be relatively easy to corroborate. Since we seem to be experiencing a renaissance of the FBI’s reputation as a deus ex machina these days, their agents can follow up with the ex-boyfriend to flesh out this testimony, and then interview McLean to see if she got coached by Ford. Or perhaps the resolution will be more simple: if Ford and her attorneys refuse to provide the Senate Judiciary Committee the same notes she provided the Post and therefore refuse to allow scrutiny of the evidence she claims corroborates her story, then there’s nothing much holding her story together anyway.
Here’s something to think about, though. The letter is dated October 2nd; Ford’s testimony took place five days earlier. Did Mitchell ask that question just as a matter of course, or did she know the real answer to it first? If so, how?
Update: This is why it’s important to wait for evidence:
Monica Mclean, retired FBI SSA and friend of Ford, gave @ABC this statement:
“I have NEVER had Christine Blasey Ford, or anybody else, prepare me, or provide any other type of assistance whatsoever in connection with any polygraph exam I have taken at anytime.” https://t.co/MmbbTPw667
— Terry Moran (@TerryMoran) October 3, 2018
A statement to ABC isn’t sworn, of course, but I’d bet that a former FBI agent wouldn’t make a public statement that she’d have to contradict under oath. This might just be another rabbit hole based on people with axes to grind coming out of the woodwork. Or it might not be. None of it is actually relevant to Kavanaugh, however, who’s been left twisting in the wind while this extraneous nonsense bubbles up into the national media.