A woman who Dr. Christine Blasey Ford says was at the 1982 party where she was allegedly assaulted by Brett Kavanaugh sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee that subtly calls out Kavanaugh for lying to senators when he repeatedly said Ford’s accusation was “refuted” during his testimony on Thursday.
The woman — Leland Keyser, a high school friend of Ford’s — sent a letter to the committee via her lawyer that says, “Notably, Ms. Keyser does not refute Dr. Ford’s account, and she has already told the press that she believes Dr. Ford’s account.“
New: Leland Keyser’s lawyer tells Judiciary she will cooperate with FBI. Reiterates she doesn’t remember the party or know Kavanaugh, and adds: “Notably, Ms. Keyser does not refute Dr. Ford's account, and she has already told the press that she believes Dr. Ford's account.“
— emma brown (@emmersbrown) September 29, 2018
Ford says Keyser was at the party with her, but was not in the room when Kavanaugh allegedly assaulted her. Because Keyser didn’t witness the assault, wasn’t told about it at the time by Ford, and can’t remember being at specific party in question, she’s unable to corroborate Ford’s accusation. But she has said she believes Ford’s claim that Kavanaugh assaulted her.
During his testimony on Thursday, however, Kavanaugh dishonestly seized upon the fact Keyser can’t corroborate Ford to claim Ford’s accusation is “refuted.”
“Ms. Keyser said under penalty of felony she does not know me, does not recall ever being at a party with me ever,” Kavanaugh said in his opening statement. “Dr. Ford’s allegation is not merely uncorroborated, it is refuted by the very people she says were there, including by a longtime friend of hers. Refuted.”
Kavanaugh falsely, repeatedly claims that Ford's accusation has been "refuted" pic.twitter.com/wfiKVBZRhg
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 27, 2018
Being unable to corroborate an accusation is not the same as refuting it, however.
Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) called out Kavanaugh for his dishonesty with regard to what Keyser is and isn’t saying during a hearing on Friday.
“Just yesterday Kavanaugh unequivocally denied the allegations against him, but something he said repeatedly, importantly, was not accurate,” Coons said. “Over and over again, he testified — and we have just it repeated here today — that Dr. Ford’s account was ‘refuted’ by three individuals Dr. Ford identified as being present. That’s not the case, and Judge Kavanaugh knows it. Not recalling is not the same as refuting.”
.@ChrisCoons: "Kavanaugh unequivocally denied the allegations against him, but something he said repeatedly was not accurate. Over and over again, he testified that Dr. Ford's account was refuted by 3 individuals she identified as being present. That's not the case & he knows it" pic.twitter.com/MSlTbOAOLE
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 28, 2018
Keyser’s comments were far from the only thing Kavanaugh was dishonest about on Thursday. The Intercept provides an overview of other matters he appeared not to tell the truth about in a piece headlined, “The Unbearable Dishonesty of Brett Kavanaugh“:
Kavanaugh strained credulity when he argued before the Senate Judiciary Committee that the “Devil’s Triangle” — a phrase that appeared on his high school yearbook page — referred to a drinking game, a definition which, before Thursday, you’d have a hard time finding anywhere. (It actually refers to a sex act involving two men and a woman). He also unabashedly claimed that the term “boof” is a reference to “flatulence,” rather than other butt stuff, and that “ralph,” which means to vomit — implicitly from the overconsumption of alcohol — was a reference to Kavanaugh’s weak stomach.
Kavanaugh claimed references to “Renate Alumnius” in his yearbook were allusions to his friendship with classmate Renate Schroeder Dolphin, and not, as many understood, a sexist smear about her promiscuity. (Dolphin told the New York Times days before the hearing: “I can’t begin to comprehend what goes through the minds of 17-year-old boys who write such things, but the insinuation is horrible, hurtful and simply untrue.”) Kavanaugh even claimed to not really know Ford at all, despite her testimony that she “went out with” one of his close friends — someone whose name appeared in his now notorious calendar 13 times.
Meanwhile, the one alleged eyewitness to the assault — Kavanaugh’s friend Mark Judge — has stopped short of saying unequivocally in his public statements that the incident didn’t happen.
Republicans on the Judiciary Committee refused to subpoena Judge to testify during Thursday’s hearing, but his lawyer says he will cooperate with the FBI’s new investigation of the misconduct accusations against Kavanaugh.