Christine Blasey Ford says she was so worried about Donald Trump nominating Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court that she and her husband considered fleeing the country. That sounds pretty serious — until you realize that part of her claim could be seriously questioned using publicly available documents.
The piece, published Sunday in The Washington Post, is titled “Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford moved 3,000 miles to reinvent her life. It wasn’t far enough.”
Dramatic stuff indeed — and stuff that also assumes, from its very title, that Ford is the one telling the truth. But never mind that, because it gets dodgier from there.
“When Donald Trump won his upset presidential victory in 2016, Christine Blasey Ford’s thoughts quickly turned to a name most Americans had never heard of but one that had unsettled her for years: Brett M. Kavanaugh,” the piece begins, rather sympathetically.
“Kavanaugh — a judge on the prestigious U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit — was among those mentioned as a possible replacement for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in 2016. When Trump nominated Neil M. Gorsuch, Ford was relieved but still uneasy.”
But then, Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement — and it all began again.
“Ford had already moved 3,000 miles away from the affluent Maryland suburbs where she says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a house party — a charge he would emphatically deny,” the piece states.
“Suddenly, living in California didn’t seem far enough. Maybe another hemisphere would be. She went online to research other democracies where her family might settle, including New Zealand.”
How can you possibly question this woman’s account? According to The Washington Post, she even considered moving to a different hemisphere because of Brett Kavanaugh — when the election of Donald Trump in 2016 made that a possibility. That’s fairly dire stuff.
One problem, however: Kavanaugh wasn’t on the list of judges Trump said he would pick from to fill the Supreme Court vacancy during his election campaign.
That’s kind of a big deal. The list of judges Trump said he would pick from when making appointments to the high court wasn’t just considered a guide of where he would go judicially — but almost an airtight compact.
For those of you with short memories, bedrock conservatives were concerned Trump — who has no legislative history — would be a RINO in certain respects, particularly when it came to court picks. That’s why the list of potential court picks was so important.
The very fact that Kavanaugh was left off the first list, if anything, should have been a relief to Ford. Trump was more or less wedded to the names on that list for his first pick, particularly since the seat was open when he was elected and the expectations of his conservative base were clear.
Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that Ford didn’t fear Kavanaugh would be picked or that she didn’t consider moving to New Zealand. However, it rather colors everything in the story.
If Ford really was worried back in 2016, she wasn’t exactly paying attention to Trump’s Supreme Court list.
It certainly wasn’t a secret, after all — and for someone who says she had a reason to care a great deal about the president’s choice to fill Scalia’s seat, she should have been aware of it. By the same token, if she had been paying attention to Trump’s Supreme Court list, she shouldn’t have been worried.
And most importantly, when Kavanaugh was added to the list, that detail certainly wouldn’t have escaped Ford. It happened almost a year ago. Wouldn’t that have been the moment to send a letter to someone if she were so concerned?
These are not nit-picking questions.
We’re not just debating whether or not Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed to the Supreme Court. We’re essentially presiding over whether or not a jurist ought to be publicly crucified without a shred of evidence that would be acceptable in virtually any other circumstances.
That’s not even mentioning the political ramifications of Kavanaugh’s nomination being delayed or denied.
Ford needs to be questioned about this when she appears before the Judiciary Committee. This simply isn’t the kind of situation where we can fall back on the old adage that there’s no such thing as a “perfect” victim — not when so many other details don’t add up.
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