Flat White

Ten flaws with Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony

4 October 2018

7:57 AM

4 October 2018

7:57 AM

I once heard of a young woman who decided to become a Christian after reading a single verse from the Old Testament. It was the line from the psalm that says, “All men are liars!” (True story. And it wasn’t simply because she had broken up with some bloke and had been catapulted into the Clementine Ford vortex of misandry.) No, she was convinced that the text gave her a profound insight into own heart from which she desperately needed redemption.

In a similar way, the Christine Blasey Ford #MeToo inquisition against Brett Kavanaugh raises some serious questions as to not only which of them is telling the truth, but especially when it comes to sexual assault, do women ever lie? I think Atticus Finch might have something to say about that – and meme world agrees.

However, after questioning Christine Blasey (her professional name) the chief public prosecutor of the Special Victims Division, Rachel Mitchell, said: “Dr Ford identified other witnesses to the event, and those witnesses either refuted her allegations or failed to corroborate them”. (By the way, a full transcript of her legal memorandum can be viewed here) Following on from this, according to The Daily Signal’s, Rachel del Guidice as well as The Daily Telegraph’s Miranda Devine—note, that they’re both women so you can’t accuse them of being sexist—there are at least ten inconsistencies or gaps that have been identified in Mitchell’s memo:

First, Blasey Ford doesn’t recall key details of the party where the alleged assault was supposed to have taken place.

According to Mitchell’s memo:

She does not remember who invited her to the party or how she heard about it. She does not remember how she got to the party. She does not remember in what house the assault allegedly took place or where that house was located with any specificity.

Second, Blasey Ford doesn’t recall how she got home.

Mitchell states:

Her inability to remember this detail raises significant questions…she…described wanting to make sure that she did not look like she had been attacked. But she has no memory of who drove her or when. Nor has anyone come forward to identify him or herself as the driver. Given that this all took place before cell phones, arranging a ride home would not have been easy.

This is a crucial bit of evidence, because as Matt Walsh has pointed out:

Whoever drove her home should be able to testify to her demeanor and emotional state mere moments after this alleged incident. Yet she cannot give us that name. She remembers rushing out of the house, but, you might say conveniently, she does not remember a single detail after that. It all goes black. That means, if her story is true, there is an extremely crucial witness out there who has not come forward. Where are they? Who are they? And how did she get hold of them to pick her up, given that this was many years before cell phones existed?

Third, no one has come forward to corroborate Blasey Ford’s account.

In her memo Mitchell writes:

Dr. Ford’s account of the alleged assault has not been corroborated by anyone she identified as having attended—including her lifelong friend.

The memorandum also notes that Ford identified three people other than Kavanaugh as being present in the house: Kavanaugh’s friend Mark Judge, Patrick “P.J.” Smyth, and Ford’s own lifelong female friend, Leland Ingham Keyser. However, Ms Keyser stated that she:

Does not know Mr. Kavanaugh and she has no recollection of ever being at a party or gathering where he was present, with, or without, Dr. Ford.

Fourth, Blasey Ford’s accounts of the incident are not consistent.

Back in July, Blasey sent a then-confidential letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, that after the assault, she heard Kavanaugh and Judge talking to other partygoers downstairs while she hid in a bathroom. However, Mitchell says, “according to her testimony, she could not hear them talking to anyone”. Mitchell also noted that Ford has not been consistent in saying who exactly was at the party.

Fifth, Blasey Ford’s accounts contain numerous gaps.

Mitchell’s memo states:

Dr. Ford has struggled to recall important recent events relating to her allegations, and her testimony regarding recent events raises further questions about her memory.

For example, Ford could not recall whether she showed a full set of therapy notes or only portion to the Post reporter and could not remember whether she showed the reporter actual records or a summary.

Sixth, Blasey Ford’s timing and manner in making her accusations remains questionable.

According to Mitchell’s memo:

She claimed originally that she wished for her story to remain confidential, but the person operating the tip line at The Washington Post was the first person other than her therapist or husband to whom she disclosed the identity of her alleged attacker.

She testified that she had a ‘sense of urgency to relay the information to the Senate and the president.’ She did not contact the Senate, however, because she claims she ‘did not know how to do that.’ She does not explain why she knew how to contact her congresswoman but not her senator.

Seventh, the psychological impact of the events on Blasey Ford is highly questionable.

Mitchell writes:

She maintains that she suffers from anxiety, claustrophobia, and post-traumatic stress disorder. [Hence] The date of the hearing was delayed because the committee was informed that her symptoms prevent her from flying. But she agreed during her testimony that she flies ‘fairly frequently for [her] hobbies and … work.

Eight, Blasey Ford’s testimony has been unduly influenced by political advocates. As Mitchell states:

The activities of congressional Democrats and [her] attorneys likely affected Dr Ford’s account”.

Nine, as a whole, Blasey Ford has proven to not be a reliable witness. According to Mitchell, she:

Has struggled to recall important recent events relating to her allegations, and her testimony regarding recent events raises further questions about her memory.

Ten, the testimony that Blasey Ford has given to her own spouse about what was allegedly supposed to have happened to her was vague.

When speaking with her husband, Dr. Ford changed her description of the incident to become less specific.

But to then top it all off, Daily Wire reporter Ryan Saveedra has revealed that Blasey Ford could be guilty of having lied under oath.

All of which is to say Blasey Ford’s testimony should be completely rejected. As Alan Dershowitz—professor emeritus at Harvard Law School— has written in an incisive opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal:

This is no longer about who would make the best Supreme Court justice. It is about the most fundamental issues of fairness this country has faced since the McCarthy era, when innocent people were accused of trying to overthrow the government and had their lives ruined based on false accusations, while being denied all semblance of due process or fairness. The American Civil Liberties Union stood strong against McCarthyism by demanding due process and hard evidence. But the ACLU now argues that “unresolved questions regarding credible allegations of sexual assault” be resolved against the accused nominee.

We have come a long way since McCarthyism, but we now live in an age that risks a new form of sexual McCarthyism. We must not go to that even darker place. The best way of assuring that we don’t is to accord every person regardless of his status, the kind of fundamental fairness we would expect for ourselves if we were accused.

The vitriolic hatred that is being poured out on Kavanaugh at present is quite simply staggering.

Sadly, history teaches us that both men and women are equally capable of misrepresentation and twisting the truth. And as such, just because a woman makes a claim of sexual assault—as horrific as that is—doesn’t mean that her testimony should be unquestionably believed.

Indeed, as Lance Morrow argues in the Wall Street Journal, the current case against Kavanaugh has some uncanny parallels to the Salem witch trials. As such, the evidence should be weighed in a court of law and people of both genders should be treated as innocent until they have been proven guilty.

Mark Powell is the Associate Pastor of Cornerstone Presbyterian Church, Strathfield.

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