We now know the name of the woman accusing Brett Kavanaugh of a sexual attack 36 years ago. She is Christine Blasey Ford. The Washington Post has her story.
There are reasons to believe Ford and reasons not to believe her. In her favor, though certainly not conclusive, is the fact that she passed a polygraph test. The Washington Post has seen the results. In addition, Ford apparently told a psychologist about the alleged attack in 2012 when she was in marriage therapy with her husband. The husband says she used Kavanaugh’s name during the session.
The therapist’s notes confirm that Ford talked about an alleged attack during the time at issue. However, they do not include Kavanaugh’s name.
Working against Ford’s claim is her admission that she didn’t tell anyone about the alleged attack at the time. In fact, she apparently never mentioned it to anyone until 2012.
In addition, Ford claims there were two boys present when the alleged attack occurred. The therapist’s notes say there were four. In addition, as Allahpundit points out, Ford claims this was an attempted rape in which her life was in danger. Yet, she also says Mark Judge kept jumping on the pile she and Kavanaugh formed, making the alleged event sound more like a prank than a genuine sexual assault.
The timing of this allegation and the manner in which it was raised should also create suspicions. In this regard, it’s fair to note that Ford is a registered Democrat and a past contributor to some Democratic candidates. In addition, I’m told she signed a letter denouncing President Trump’s border policy.
All in all, it seems unlikely that we’ll ever know whether Ford’s allegations are true, true but significantly exaggerated, or completely false. The uncertainty is due in part to the staleness of her claim and in part to the fact that it didn’t surface until after Judge Kavanaugh had finished testifying.
What to do? Unless the leadership believes this woman, it should press ahead with the confirmation process. Let Republican members sort out the mess. If GOP Senators defect ahead of the vote, the nomination should be pulled. If not, the Senate should vote.
If this claim sinks Kavanaugh, there should be enough time — almost three months — to nominate and confirm another candidate even if the GOP loses control of the Senate.
What not to do? Delay the proceedings. Democrats will demand that the hearings be reopened so they can question Kavanaugh about Ford’s claim. But Democrats had a chance to question him about the claims and failed to do so. In any event, Kavanaugh has issued a blanket denial. We know his side and we know the woman’s side.
If Kavanaugh can’t get to 50 votes unless the process is stalled — i.e. if swing Republican Senators demand delay — then his nomination should be pulled. The object here is to confirm a conservative jurist, not to confirm Brett Kavanaugh. Thus, the leadership should not agree to anything that will prevent confirmation of a nominee before the end of the year.