For liberals, facts are painful.
The sex crimes prosecutor brought on by the Senate Judiciary Committee to assist with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings not only said that she wouldn’t have pressed charges against Kavanaugh in the case, she found the evidence presented by his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, was decidedly weaker even than a “he said, she said” situation.
In a memo released late Sunday, Rachel Mitchell questioned Ford’s version of events, including the shifting timeline of when the attack occurred, Ford’s inability to remember how she got home, the ambiguity of her willingness to remain anonymous, and the failure of other witnesses to back up her story.
“In a legal context, here is my bottom line: A ‘he said, she said’ case is incredibly difficult to prove,” the Arizona prosecutor said at the beginning of the memo, which can be viewed here. The document was addressed to “All Republican Senators.”
“But this case is even weaker than that. Dr. Ford identified other witnesses in the event, and those witnesses either refuted her allegations or failed to corroborate them. For the reasons discussed below, I do not think that a reasonable prosecutor would bring this case based on the evidence before the Committee. Nor do I believe that this evidence is sufficient to satisfy the preponderance-of-the-evidence standard.”
Among the major problems Mitchell had was the fact that Ford couldn’t give “a consistent account of when the alleged assault happened.” In her conversations with The Washington Post, for instance, she said it was the “mid 1980s,” which shifted to the “early ’80s” in a letter to California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee. Therapy notes seemed to indicate she said it happened in her “late teens,” while Ford’s eventual account had her at age 15.
While Ford eventually narrowed it down to the summer of 1982, Mitchell remained unconvinced.
“While it is common for victims to be uncertain about dates, Dr. Ford failed to explain how she was suddenly able to narrow the time frame to a particular season and particular year,” Mitchell wrote.
Mitchell also referred back to notes taken by Ford’s therapist in 2012, which didn’t seem to identify Kavanaugh by name. The first time her husband recalled hearing a name was in 2012, Mitchell wrote, when Kavanaugh was “widely reported in the press as a potential Supreme Court nominee if Governor Romney won the presidential election.”
Mitchell also took aim at Ford’s memories of the party where she claimed the alleged sexual assault happened.
“She does not remember in what house the assault allegedly took place or where that house was located with any specificity,” Mitchell wrote. “Perhaps most importantly, she does not remember how she got from the party back to her house.”
“She told the Washington Post that the party took place near the Columbia Country Club. The Club is more than 7 miles from her childhood home as the crow flies, and she testified that it was a roughly 20-minute drive from her childhood home.”
While Ford was able to describe details of the night — including “hiding in the bathroom, locking the door, and subsequently exiting the house,” the drive back is more elusive.
Ford “has no memory of who drove her or when. Nor has anyone come forward to identify him or herself as the driver,” Mitchell wrote.
“Given that all of this took place before cell phones, arranging a ride home would not have been easy. Indeed, she stated she ran out of the house after coming downstairs and did not state that she made a phone call from the house before she did, or that she called anyone else thereafter.”
The memo also notes the inconsistencies in Ford’s accounts of who was at the party and her discussions with The Washington Post, and the fact that Ford “refused to provide any of her therapy notes to the Committee.” (italics in the original)
Mitchell didn’t examine Kavanaugh’s testimony in the memo. However, this kind of analysis, one assumes, is why the Ford team didn’t want a sex crimes prosecutor present at the hearing. This was something that the left was crowing about the moment this hit the news wires, as evinced by the reaction of BuzzFeed’s legal editor, Chris Geidner:
Be very clear: This is a political document, nothing more. It is not a legal document from a prosecutor. Mitchell wasn’t allowed to continue questioning Kavanaugh, has not been allowed to chase down any leads, and, in any event, this isn’t a criminal trial. https://t.co/0czI3sESwN
— Chris Geidner (@chrisgeidner) October 1, 2018
Yes, and that actually doesn’t refute any of the points made in the memo. However credible — or at least sympathetic — Ford may have seemed as an individual to the layman, there are still significant issues with her account of what happened (and how that account has shifted).
That’s what a prosecutor is supposed to do — provide a dispassionate version of things. Mitchell wasn’t there to take sides. What she did was point out the multifarious inconsistencies in the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford.
In a situation where it’s horribly impolitic to state the facts, that’s an invaluable service.
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