POLITICS
10/05/2018 08:21 pm ET Updated Oct 05, 2018

Christine Blasey Ford's Lawyers React To Brett Kavanaugh's Expected Confirmation

Ford accused the Supreme Court nominee of sexually assaulting her at a high school gathering in 1982.

Christine Blasey Ford’s lawyers denounced the pending confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, arguing that Republicans were trying to undermine Ford’s credibility.

“As the Senate debates the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, numerous false claims have been repeated to undermine the credibility of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford,” her lawyers said in a statement to HuffPost.

“Whatever the outcome, Senators deserve to know the truth:
An FBI investigation that did not include interviews of Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh is not a meaningful investigation in any sense of the word.”

“We believe Christine Blasey Ford and we fully support her,” they concluded. “Senators claiming to want a dignified debate should not repeat lies constructed by the Judiciary Committee that were cynically designed to win support for Judge Kavanaugh.”

The statement was signed by attorneys Debra S. Katz, Lisa J. Banks and Michael R. Bromwich.

Kavanaugh is set to be confirmed Saturday, after several weeks of defending himself against Ford and other women’s accusations of sexual assault and misconduct. Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) all announced Friday they would support Kavanaugh, giving him the 51 votes necessary for confirmation.

Ford testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee that Kavanaugh pinned her down in the presence of his friend, groped her and attempted to take her clothes off during a gathering in the summer of 1982.

The FBI did not question Ford about the incident in an investigation requested by several senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee, including Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who said he’d only help advance Kavanaugh in a procedural vote if the bureau further examined Ford’s accusations.

On Thursday, Ford’s lawyers called the FBI investigation “a stain on the process, on the FBI and on our American ideal of justice.”

If the FBI had interviewed Ford, her attorneys argued on Friday, she would have provided evidence that corroborated her accusations, including “medical records and access to the phone” she used to contact a reporter about Kavanaugh’s misconduct prior to his nomination.

The attorneys slammed committee Republicans for refusing to allow other witnesses to testify, including the former FBI agent who administered the polygraph test to her in August.

They also rejected claims that Ford’s testimony was delayed because of her fear of flying. They said the timing of the hearing was affected by Ford taking measures, including speaking to the FBI, to protect her family from threats.

President Donald Trump, who nominated Kavanaugh to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy in July, stood by his pick throughout the confirmation process, labeling Ford’s accusations “false” and arguing that she was part of a Democratic “con job.”

Trump mocked Ford at a campaign rally on Tuesday, a move some senators called “just plain wrong” and “unacceptable.”

Read Ford’s lawyers’ full statement below:

As the Senate debates the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, numerous false claims have been repeated to undermine the credibility of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.  Whatever the outcome, Senators deserve to know the truth:

  1. An FBI investigation that did not include interviews of Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh is not a meaningful investigation in any sense of the word.
  2. Had the FBI interviewed Dr. Ford, she would have answered questions about Judge Kavanaugh’s assault, including questions that Ms. Mitchell and the Judiciary Committee members failed to ask during the hearing. She would have provided corroborating evidence, including her medical records and access to the phone from which she sent messages to a reporter about the assault prior to his nomination to the Supreme Court.
  3. The suggestion that our refusal to give medical records to the Judiciary Committee bears on Dr. Ford’s credibility is completely false.  The Committee has released every document we have exchanged, and in the case of their letters to us, sometimes before we received them.  We lost confidence in the Committee’s ability or desire to maintain the confidentiality of materials and information we provided, especially with respect to something as sensitive as medical records.
  4. Dr. Ford wanted to detail the events of the sexual assault by Judge Kavanaugh directly to members of the Judiciary Committee.  Dr. Ford was timely provided with all communications from the Majority’s staff and chose from the multiple options she was given by them.  At the hearing, Dr. Ford understood Senator Grassley’s comment to be that he personally would have flown to California to speak with her.  She would have welcomed Senator Grassley and other Committee members to California but that was not one of the options offered by Committee staff.     
  5. At no time did members of Dr. Ford’s team advise Committee staff that she could not travel to Washington, D.C. because of her fear of flying.  Rather, staff was told that Dr. Ford could not travel on the schedule the Committee demanded because she was focused on taking measures to protect her family from threats, including death threats.  Those measures included meeting with the FBI to report these disturbing threats.  In fact, Dr. Ford does have a decades-long fear of flying for which she takes medication prescribed by a physician, but this had no impact on the timing of her testimony.
  6. Committee staff repeatedly rejected our requests for multiple corroborating witnesses to be allowed to testify, including Jeremiah Hanafin, the highly experienced former FBI agent who administered the polygraph to Dr. Ford on August 7, 2018.  He was also prepared to cooperate with the FBI’s investigation, including making the underlying polygraph results and process available.  Had Mr. Hanafin been permitted to testify or been interviewed by the FBI, he would have explained that his conclusions of “no deception” were validated by four independent outside reviewers.  There were seven people whom Dr. Ford told about the assault prior to the nomination who could have testified to the Committee or been interviewed by the FBI.

In her testimony, Dr. Ford said: “It is not my responsibility to determine whether Mr. Kavanaugh deserves to sit on the Supreme Court.  My responsibility is to tell the truth.”

We believe Christine Blasey Ford and we fully support her.  Senators claiming to want a dignified debate should not repeat lies constructed by the Judiciary Committee that were cynically designed to win support for Judge Kavanaugh.

Carla Herreria contributed to this report.

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