Today Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser Dr. Christine Blasey Ford both gave their testimonies about a sexual assault case that Ford accuses Kavanaugh of 36 years ago. While Ford and Kavanaugh both came across as emotional and credible, we are no closer to determining what happened all those years ago than we were when the accusations first came out. But today’s testimonies were not about finding Judge Kavanaugh innocent or guilty and they were not about determining what happened to Dr. Ford. Today’s testimonies were about determining the credibility of both witnesses and giving Judge Kavanaugh one last character assessment before the Senate Judiciary Committee and ultimately the entire Senate vote to either approve or deny Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Because the credibility of both witnesses to the supposed sexual assault crimes were being tested, it is important to look at some of the issues that challenged such credibility. In particular, nine issues came about that raised credibility questions.
- It had previously been reported that due to the sexual assault Dr. Ford experienced as a high school girl in the early 1980’s, she became fearful of flying because of claustrophobia issues. That is why it was said that Dr. Ford could not testify in front of the Judiciary Committee on Monday which the original date proposed for her testimony, as she would have to drive cross country from her home in California. However, after being questioned about this by Rachel Mitchell, the outside and impartial sex crimes investigator hired by the Republicans to ask questions to Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh, Dr. Ford revealed that she has flown to French Polynesia and Costa Rica among other locations. If Dr. Ford was so afraid of flying cross country because of claustrophobia issues, why exactly is she more comfortable flying to international locations, and why doesn’t her claustrophobia affect her then? Not only did Dr. Ford admit to flying to these international locations, she admits that she did in fact fly to Washington D.C. for her testimony today.
- Continuing on the flying debacle, Dr. Ford said she had originally hoped for members of the Judiciary Committee to travel to California to speak with her, a claim she said she believed was unattainable. However, committee chairman Senator Chuck Grassley informed Ford that he made the offer for members of the committee to fly to California, an offer Ford said she was not aware of and refused to answer whether or not her lawyers made her aware of that offer. Now because we don’t have all the facts on this, we can only make intellectual assumptions. And based on the fact that Grassley made the offer, and Ford was unaware of the offer, and refused to say if her lawyer told her about the offer, it can be assumed that the offer was sent to her lawyer not directly to Dr. Ford and that her lawyer did not relay the offer.
- Another major issue that has been a question of credibility even before the testimonies today was the attendance at the party. Originally Dr. Ford claimed that there were 3 boys and 2 girls at the party, she then claimed that there were 4 boys but she did not know who the 4th boy was, and that there may have been more people but she was not sure. This isn’t only questionable because of the number of people she claims were at the party, but also because everyone she says was at the party, even her longtime best friend, have all said they either weren’t at such a party or that the party never happened at all.
- Also in question is the polygraph that Dr. Ford took recently about her accusations. Dr. Ford claims that she was hooked up to a machine for hours and was not sure if she was being filmed or audio recorded during the ordeal. The problem with this claim is that her polygraph had already been released and showed that she was asked only two questions. While its understandable to not remember how many questions were asked, stating she was hooked up for hours for a two question test seems highly incredible. Dr. Ford also claims that the polygraph test was either taken the day of or the day after her grandmother’s funeral, but could not remember either of those dates.
- When Dr. Ford sent a letter to Senator Feinstein back in July, she claimed to have met with a staff member of congresswoman Ann Eshoo on July 11 and subsequently with Eshoo herself on July 13. Today she claimed those dates were July 18 and July 20 respectively. One might think that an important meeting with a congresswoman about a Supreme Court nominee might be written in a calendar somewhere, so how did Ford mix up these important dates so easily?
- According to Dr. Ford’s account of the events that happened in 1982, after she escaped from Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge, she locked herself in a bathroom which was across the hall from the bedroom where she claims these events happened. Dr. Ford even claimed she could draw a floorplan of the house, which is strange by itself because she couldn’t remember even a general area of where the house was located. Ford then claims that after she heard Kavanaugh and Judge go downstairs, she ran from the bathroom and the house and claimed that Kavanaugh and Judge were having a conversation downstairs. However, the problem with this claim is Rachel Mitchell proceeded to ask Ford what they were talking about, and Ford claimed she didn’t know because she didn’t even hear them talking. So Ford made a claim that something happened, but then says she didn’t see or hear it and was only assuming it happened.
- If Ford was hurting her credibility, Senator Blumenthal wasn’t helping at all. the Democratic Senator from Connecticut was adamant about not allowing the letters from the three witnesses Ford said were at the party to be entered into the record because those witnesses did not testify in front of the judiciary committee. Blumenthal seemingly silenced anyone who dare challenge the claims of Dr. Ford, just a day after he proclaimed Judge Kavanaugh to be a liar for not admitting to being the perpetrator of the crimes.
- One topic that has been brought up thanks to the asinine claims of lawyer Michael Avenatti who continues to do his best to demonize any and all conservatives, is the high school yearbook of Judge Kavanaugh. In his high school yearbook, Kavanaugh is quoted as saying “FFFFFFFourth of July” which he claims is a reference to an inside joke between him and his high school friends. Avenatti however likes to claim that the multiple F’s in the spelling of fourth have a vile and disgusting sexual meaning which is not worth repeating. Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont questioned Kavanaugh about this and got absolutely nowhere, because the claims are an asinine attempt to smear Kavanaugh’s name even further. These claims only further hurt the credibility of Avenatti, if he had any left at all, and in turn the claims of Dr. Ford.
- One last piece from the testimonies today that pushed credibility to its absolute limit was the consistent questioning of whether or not Judge Kavanaugh would submit to an FBI investigation. Time and time again as the questioning went on, each Democratic senator asked Kavanaugh to submit to an FBI investigation. Each time, Judge Kavanaugh openly and willingly admitted that he would accept any form of investigation that the Judiciary Committee saw fit. Yet every single Democrat ignored that and told Kavanaugh he was refusing to allow the FBI to investigate. There are a few problems with this. First is the fact that Kavanaugh does not have the authority to request an FBI investigation, only President Trump could do so. Another problem with this is that Democratic members of the committee had seven weeks from the time they received the claims of Dr. Ford to request and FBI investigation and are waiting until just six weeks before the midterms to do so. The final problem, as Kavanaugh pointed out multiple times is that the FBI would not be able to come to a conclusion to prove that he is either guilty or innocent, therefore rendering an investigation less useless than the current formatted testimonies. Asking for an FBI investigation seven weeks later is simply a tactic to delay the confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
So we are no closer or further from the truth than we have been since these accusations came out. The truth however doesn’t seem to matter, this has turned into a political circus in an attempt to keep the 9th SCOTUS seat empty until 2020 or possibly even 2024. Tomorrow the Judiciary committee will vote to approve or deny Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, with the vote then moving to the Senate floor. We know that at least 45 Democrats will vote no, and we know that at least 48 Republicans will vote yes. There are 7 Senators for whom we do not yet know the vote. Democrats Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Jon Tester of Montana are on the fence as they all face tough re-election bids in red states in November. Republicans Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Jeff Flake of Arizona are also on the fence. Collins and Murkowksi have both been pressed by women’s groups to vote no on Kavanaugh even before these allegations came out, and Jeff Flake is not running for re-election in Arizona as his term ends this year. All three of these Republican Senators have also been stark critics of President Trump.