On Saturday, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley launched a 400-page report detailing the Senate’s investigation of the quite a few fees leveled towards Justice Brett Kavanaugh within the eleventh hour of his affirmation course of.
Whereas it repeated many beforehand recognized details, the report included a number of new tidbits that additional expose the fraudulent nature of the claims of sexual misconduct. Listed here are the highest seven takeaways.
1. Affirmation of Ford’s Altering Story
Ford’s testimony earlier than the Senate Judiciary Committee differed in lots of respects from statements she made to her therapist, the Washington Publish reporter who broke the story, and even from her preliminary letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Ford’s story morphed from a sexual assault by 4 boys within the mid-1980s, whereas she was in her late teenagers, to a sexual assault by one boy at a celebration attended by 5 individuals in 1982, when she was 15.
The situation of the assault went from a house close to her mother and father’ nation membership to a home someplace between the nation membership and her house, which was a 20-minute drive away. I beforehand defined the importance of those modifications to her story.
On the time of Ford’s testimony, the general public solely had out there the assertion by sex-crimes prosecutor Rachel Mitchell, who questioned Ford on behalf of Senate Republicans, that Ford had advised the Washington Publish reporter the assault had occurred within the mid-80s. Nevertheless, Grassley’s report now confirms that info, offering Ford’s personal textual content message to the Washington Submit, which states Kavanaugh and his good friend assaulted me within the “mid 1980s.”
2. Different Inconsistencies in Ford’s Story
Along with these inconsistencies in Ford’s story, following the Senate listening to the general public discovered of one other drawback together with her testimony when a former longtime boyfriend got here ahead. He contradicted Ford’s declare that she had by no means “had discussions with anyone, besides [her] attorneys, on how to take a polygraph,” and had by no means given “advice to somebody who was looking to take a polygraph test.”
The ex-boyfriend said that “contrary to Dr. Ford’s testimony, she had helped prepare her roommate, former FBI agent Monica McLean, for a polygraph examination.” Grassley’s report consists of the letter from Ford’s former boyfriend detailing his declare.
Grassley’s Friday report additionally uncovered a brand new inconsistency beforehand unknown regarding Ford’s testimony concerning the influence of the purported sexual assault. On the Judiciary Committee listening to, Ford testified beneath oath that the first results of the sexual assault occurred in “the initial four years after the event.” Given Ford’s declare that the assault occurred in 1982, that might imply the primary after-effects of the assault largely hit her from 1982 till 1984.
Ford expanded on the consequences, stating: “I struggled academically. I struggled very much in Chapel Hill and in college. When I was 17 and went off to college, I had a very hard time, more so than others, forming new friendships and especially friendships with boys, and I had academic problems.”
Nevertheless, a former school acquaintance informed the Judiciary Committee that Ford had “a fairly active and robust social life” in school on the College of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His letter added that Chrissy “seemed to have a number of other non-dating male friends, more guy friends perhaps than females,” and that she attended “frat house parties, some crowded and lasting very late in the evening,” in addition to “smaller gatherings in male friend’s rooms or apartments.”
Ford “did not seem to be afraid to be in rooms or apartments with only one entrance,” the collegemate wrote, including “This was the case even if very late at night with her and her friend as the only females present.”
A lady who attended school with Ford likewise testified that Ford “had an active and robust social life in college,” which included utilizing medicine and attending fraternity events.
three. Different Potential Assault Culprits
All through your complete ordeal, many commentators—myself included—prompt that whereas Kavanaugh didn’t assault Ford, another person might have. After listening to Ford’s Senate testimony, Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins equally concluded that Kavanaugh was not Ford’s assailant however “that she was assaulted.” By whom and when, although, Collins didn’t know.
It’s unlikely the general public will ever know what occurred to Ford, if something. However Grassley’s report helps the likelihood that the encounter Ford described concerned different boys and totally different details. Particularly, the report summarized statements made by two males who believed they could have been concerned within the encounters Ford described, albeit with it being consensual.
One other portion of Grassley’s memo suggests one other risk according to Ford’s therapist’s notes, which described the assault as involving 4 boys and occurring within the mid-80s. These information got here from a press release made by a former girlfriend of Mark Decide. Decide is Kavanaugh’s high-school pal who supposedly was within the room on the time of his alleged assault.
The previous flame said that Decide advised her that he had misplaced his virginity round 1985 when “he and several other boys from Georgetown Prep took turns having sex with a woman who was drunk.” In line with the ex, “It was Mark’s perception that the sexual activity was consensual.”
Whereas Grassley’s report doesn’t embrace any assertion from Decide confirming or denying his former girlfriend’s claims, nor an inventory of these concerned within the incident, following Ford’s testimony earlier than the Senate Judiciary Committee, investigators interviewed Decide and certain questioned him about this incident. Decide had already said, topic to legal penalty, that he has by no means seen Kavanaugh behave as Ford described.
One in every of Kavanaugh’s feminine acquaintances from Yale appeared to have the identical view of the Supreme Courtroom justice, noting in a textual content to a good friend that “When I say Brett was vanilla with me, I mean it. He turned his back when I changed in his room.”
In fact, Decide’s former girlfriend’s account of a number of boys having intercourse with a drunken woman doesn’t match Ford’s declare that she had solely consumed one beer on the time Kavanaugh purportedly assaulted her. However given the various inconsistencies in Ford’s different testimony, her veracity on this level is questionable, particularly in mild of different proof gathered through the Senate’s investigation.
For example, one particular person famous that “her family is familiar with the Blasey family as both were members of the Columbia Country Club.” This individual said that a number of people who knew “Ford from high school and who have information regarding her drinking and partying” have been unwilling to return ahead, and that she wished she might say all she knew however didn’t need to “put myself out there.” Ford’s speedy household additionally “refused to provide statements or participate in an interview.”
four. Yale Had a Flasher On the Unfastened; It Wasn’t Kavanaugh
Grassley’s memorandum mentioned Deborah Ramirez’s declare that, within the 1980s whereas attending Yale College, Kavanaugh had uncovered himself to her, thrusting “his penis in her face.” Kavanaugh denied Ramirez’s cost and Ramirez admitted she was intoxicated on the time and wasn’t positive Kavanaugh was the flasher till she spent every week considering it over and speaking together with her attorneys. Grassley’s report concluded there was no verifiable proof supporting Ramirez’s declare that Kavanaugh had uncovered himself.
Actually, the committee acquired proof indicating that one other Yale scholar had been a recognized flasher on the time. A witness informed the committee investigator that a totally different classmate, who was a member of the identical fraternity as Kavanaugh, “had a reputation for exposing himself publicly.” This witness offered the investigator a yearbook photograph displaying that particular person sans pants.
The witness additional advised the committee that he had witnessed this particular person expose himself at a celebration and that this particular person had been in the identical residential school as Ramirez. He added that, had Kavanaugh “engaged in similar lewd behavior, it would have been widely known and discussed around campus.”
5. Unusual Coincidences Referring to Julie Swetnick
One other fascinating tidbit from the Grassley memo considerations the allegations made by Julie Swetnick, who “alleged that a teenage Justice Kavanaugh orchestrated gang rapes of inebriated women.” Whereas the report detailed the various inconsistencies and false statements Swetnick made, these details don’t benefit point out since nobody—aside from Senate Democrats—put any inventory in Swetnick and porn lawyer Michael Avenatti’s claims.
What proved fascinating, although, was committee investigators’ discovery that Swetnick had “a lengthy history of litigation, including as a plaintiff in a sexual-harassment suit in which she was represented by Debra Katz’s firm, the same Debra Katz who represented Dr. Ford.”
6. Mobs, Mobs, Mobs
All through the report, the names of varied witnesses stay redacted. Early on, Grassley explains the necessity for this anonymity: “A large portion of individuals providing testimony in support of Justice Kavanaugh asked that their names be redacted out of fear that their statements might result in personal or professional retribution or personal physical harm—or even risk the safety and well-being of their families and friends. The Committee respected all requests for anonymity. Accordingly, some aspects of this memorandum are redacted.”
In fact, it has been extensively reported that Ford and her household have additionally acquired threats, as has Kavanaugh’s household, making the witnesses’ reticence comprehensible. This public spectacle and the attendant threats might have all been prevented had Feinstein correctly (and promptly) turned Ford’s July 2018 letter detailing the alleged assault over to the FBI. However she didn’t, which is probably going why Grassley’s memo mentions that the committee is constant to research attainable violation of Senate guidelines. That, nevertheless, can be little consolation to the households persevering with to face threats.
7. Grassley Isn’t Achieved
Though Grassley’s report offered an in depth synopsis of the months-long investigation, and uncovered a number of new information beforehand unreported (or underreported), probably the most vital revelation from the weekend launch is that the investigation continues.
First, within the opening paragraph, Grassley notes that the memorandum “provides a status update on the Committee’s ongoing efforts to review and address additional matters that arose during the course of the investigation, including potential violations of Senate rules, potential witness tampering, and potential false statements made to the Committee in violation of federal law.”
‘Committee investigators continue to pursue this lead to determine whether McLean or others tampered with a critical witness.’
Later, the report famous the committee’s ongoing efforts, stating that “although the Senate confirmed Justice Kavanaugh on October 6, Committee investigators continue to pursue several issues related to the allegations against Justice Kavanaugh.” The memorandum then particularly famous that information stories claimed Ford’s good friend Leland Keyser “felt pressure from Dr. Ford’s allies to revisit her initial statement to the Committee that she did not know Justice Kavanaugh or have any knowledge of the alleged incident.”
In response to media studies, “former FBI employee Monica McLean, whom Dr. Ford allegedly coached in a polygraph exam years earlier, and others contacted her to suggest she ‘clarify’ her account.” Grassley harassed that “Committee investigators continue to pursue this lead to determine whether McLean or others tampered with a critical witness.”
Grassley additionally confused that “Committee investigators will refer for investigation by the Justice Department and FBI any potential violations of federal law, when warranted. These referrals will identify individuals who appear to have made materially false statements to the Committee or otherwise obstructed the Committee’s investigation in connection with allegations against Justice Kavanaugh.”
The query is now whether or not McLean and Ford take down any congressional Democrats or staffers with them.
Considerably, Grassley made these statements after the committee had already made legal referrals for 4 people for knowingly making materially false statements to the committee. These referrals embrace the September 29, 2018, referral of a person from Rhode Island who emailed Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse claiming that Kavanaugh and Decide sexually assaulted an in depth acquaintance of his on a ship in Newport, Rhode Island. That particular person later recanted.
Additionally referred have been Swetnick and Avenatti, and most just lately, on November 2, 2018, the committee referred Judy Munro-Leighton to the Justice Division for claiming to be the writer of a Jane Doe letter from California that claimed Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her. Investigators later found Munro-Leighton was a liberal activist from Kentucky. She then admitted her e-mail “was just a ploy” and that she had by no means even met Kavanaugh.
Provided that Grassley’s group already referred these instances to the DOJ and FBI, the “ongoing efforts” of the committee should check with different people concerned within the Kavanaugh affair. Though the memo talked about McLean by identify, it’s unlikely that’s the place this matter will finish. Fairly, McLean is probably going the means to the top: the person the investigators will strain to disclose all she is aware of about Ford’s story and others concerned in her eleventh-hour costs towards Kavanaugh. Given the quite a few inconsistencies highlighted within the report, Ford will probably come subsequent.
Thus the query shall be whether or not, within the hopes of saving their very own necks, McLean and Ford take down any congressional Democrats or staffers with them. Whereas it might be many months earlier than the subsequent shoe drops, Grassley’s report got here in time to remind voters of the righteous anger they felt over the Democrats’ horrid remedy of Kavanaugh and his household. We’ll know tomorrow whether or not that anger has been rekindled.
Margot Cleveland is a senior contributor to The Federalist. Cleveland served almost 25 years as a everlasting regulation clerk to a federal appellate decide and is a former full-time school member and present adjunct teacher on the school of enterprise on the College of Notre Dame.
The views expressed listed here are these of Cleveland in her personal capability.