Leland Keyser, a woman who at one time was thought to be a possible witness who could corroborate the sexual assault accusations made against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, claims she was pressured to change her story that she knew nothing of the assault.
Keyser, a friend and classmate of Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford, told the FBI that Ford’s allies asked her to “revisit her initial statement that she knew nothing about the alleged sexual assault,” according to the Wall Street Journal.
Keyser was named by Ford as one of the people who was at the 1982 party where she alleges that Kavanaugh assaulted her.
In a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee dated Sept. 23, Keyser said she “does not know Mr. Kavanaugh and she has no recollection of ever being at a party or gathering where he was present.”
A friend of Christine Blasey Ford told the FBI she felt pressured by Ford's allies to revisit statement on the allegation against Kavanaugh https://t.co/u7XMlpx7RF
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) October 5, 2018
Keyser followed that up in a Sept. 29 letter by saying that she didn’t doubt her friend’s story, but she couldn’t corroborate it.
According to the Journal, Keyser told the FBI that Monica McLean, a retired FBI agent, and another friend of Ford’s reportedly urged her to “clarify her statement.”
This isn’t the first time that McLean has come up in conjunction with Ford’s accusations. A man who identified himself as a former boyfriend of Ford’s sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, saying that Ford lied under oath when she said she had never helped anyone prepare for a polygraph.
The boyfriend, whose name was redacted when the letter was released to the press, identified McLean as Ford’s “life-long best friend,” and claimed Ford used her extensive background in psychology to help McLean prepare for polygraphs she was required to take as part of a job interview.
Keyser’s statement to the FBI offered insight into how those supporting Ford worked to find support for her version of events.
Keyser’s initial testimony that she had no recollection of the alleged assault was cited in Kavanaugh’s opening testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee during its hearing last week.
“Dr. Ford’s allegation is not merely uncorroborated, it is refuted by the very people she says were there, including by a long-time friend of hers,” Kavanaugh said, referring to Keyser.
Keyser’s statement was given to the FBI during their supplemental investigation, which was commissioned by the Senate and White House.
That supplemental investigation came following the Senate Judiciary Committee’s vote to send Kavanaugh’s nomination to the floor of the Senate, last Friday, at the request of Republican Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona.
David Laufman, attorney for McLean, denied his client had spoken to Keyser.
“Any notion or claim that Ms. McLean pressured Leland Keyser to alter Ms. Keyser’s account of what she recalled concerning the alleged incident between Dr. Ford and Brett Kavanaugh is absolutely false,” Laufman said, according to the Journal.
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