The Keyser case

The Wall Street Journal has an intriguing story (partly accessible here via Outline) based on information provided by an unnamed source “familiar with the matter” who has seen information provided by the FBI in addition to the supplemental FBI background check on Judge Kavanaugh. The Journal reports:

A friend of Christine Blasey Ford told FBI investigators that she felt pressured by Dr. Ford’s allies to revisit her initial statement that she knew nothing about an alleged sexual assault by a teenage Brett Kavanaugh, which she later updated to say that she believed but couldn’t corroborate Dr. Ford’s account, according to people familiar with the matter.

Leland Keyser, who Dr. Ford has said was present at the gathering where she was allegedly assaulted in the 1980s, told investigators that Monica McLean, a retired Federal Bureau of Investigation agent and a friend of Dr. Ford’s, had urged her to clarify her statement, the people said.

* * * * *

On Thursday, a day after sending to the White House the report on its investigation into the allegations against Judge Kavanaugh, the FBI sent the White House and Senate an additional package of information that included text messages from Ms. McLean to Ms. Keyser, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Ms. McLean’s lawyer, David Laufman, said in a statement: “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.”

There really is nothing in the Journal story that sheds light on this, although the story continues:

Ms. Keyser’s lawyer on Sept. 23 said in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee that she had no recollection of attending a party with Judge Kavanaugh, whom she said she didn’t know. That same day, however, she told the Washington Post that she believed Dr. Ford. On Sept. 29, two days after Dr. Ford and the judge testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Ms. Keyser’s attorney sent a letter to the panel saying his client wasn’t refuting Dr. Ford’s account and that she believed it but couldn’t corroborate it.

A person close to the former classmates said it was her understanding that mutual friends of Dr. Ford and Ms. Keyser, including Ms. McLean, had contacted Ms. Keyser after her initial statement to warn her that her statement was being used by Republicans to rebut the allegation against Judge Kavanaugh. The friends told Ms. Keyser that if she had intended to say she didn’t remember the party—not that it had never happened—that she should clarify her statement, the person said, adding that the friends hadn’t “pressured” Ms. Keyser.

One hopes that we shall see.

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