by Margot Cleveland · October 6, 2018
Today the battle over Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh comes to a close. With senators Susan Collins (R-Maine), Jeff Flake, (R-Arizona), and Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) all indicating yesterday they intend to vote to confirm Kavanaugh when the 30-hour debate period ends this afternoon, his accession to the Supreme Court seems assured. Yet, given the volatile last two weeks, Kavanaugh supporters will remain guarded until the final vote is cast.
Following the vote, the pivot to midterm elections will be swift, with the left seeking to use a Kavanaugh confirmation as a battle cry for liberal voters. What Democrats fail to recognize, though, is that between now and November 6, Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford’s case will continue to crumble—and it may well bury several Democrats or party operatives in the process.
While the FBI’s background investigation into Kavanaugh ended on Wednesday, recent developments call into question Ford’s veracity. Most significantly, following Ford’s appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee, a former long-time boyfriend of Ford’s provided the committee a statement claiming that years ago he had witnessed Ford help her close friend, Monica L. McLean, “prepare for a potential polygraph exam.” Ford’s former flame added that his then-girlfriend “explained in detail what to expect, how polygraphs worked and helped McLean become familiar and less nervous about the exam.”
If the ex-boyfriend’s letter proves accurate, Ford risks criminal liability for making a false statement to the Judiciary Committee because Ford unequivocally testified that she had never “had discussions with anyone, beside [her] attorneys, on how to take a polygraph,” and had never “given tips or advice to somebody who was looking to take a polygraph test.”
Although the Senate Judiciary Committee has concluded its role in considering Kavanaugh’s nomination to replace now-retired Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, Judiciary Committee Chair Charles Grassley continues to seek information from Ford. Earlier this week, Grassley again requested the full details of Ford’s polygraph, noting they were “particularly important” given the statement of Ford’s longtime boyfriend. On Thursday, Grassley asked for the third time for Ford to turn over the polygraph materials, as well as therapy notes and her communications with The Washington Post.
Grassley then requested additional information “in light of recently uncovered information.” Specifically, Grassley directed Ford’s attorneys to provide “records and descriptions of direct or indirect communications” between Ford (or her representatives) and (1) any senators or their staff; (2) Leland Keyser, Mark Judge, and P.J. Smyth, whom she named as present during the alleged altercation between her and Kavanaugh; and (3) other Kavanaugh accusers Debbie Ramirez, Julie Swetnick, or their representatives.
While Grassley did not expand on the content of the “recently uncovered information” in his letter to Ford’s attorney, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that McLean—the same woman Ford supposedly helped prepare for a polygraph examination years ago—had contacted Keyser, urging her to clarify her statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
In a statement to the Judiciary Committee, Keyser had stated under penalty of perjury that she did not remember any such party as Ford describes and did not know Kavanaugh. Yet she later did “clarify” that she believes Ford’s claim that Kavanaugh attacked her.
Whether McLean, a retired Federal Bureau of Investigation agent, contacted other supposed witnesses or otherwise helped Ford craft her instigating letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein—or possibly leaked that letter—is unknown. But Grassley seems focused on obtaining the requested material. And if Ford won’t provide the information voluntarily, Grassley (or the FBI upon launching an investigation into whether Ford testified falsely before the Judiciary Committee) may seek subpoenas for the relevant material.
The evidence already available, though, indicates that Ford’s story will continue to unravel in the coming days. Conversely, the left’s inability to uncover a single authentic Kavanaugh victim makes it unlikely one will miraculously appear before election day. Consequentially, Democrat senators who vote “no” later today will thus likely face an electorate a month from now that is less divided over Ford’s veracity. Rather, they too shall see a failed political assassination attempt of a now-seated Supreme Court justice.
Democrats’ failure to consider the trajectory of Ford’s uncorroborated sexual assault claim was a huge miscalculation for red-state Democrats up for reelection. While it already appears that Sen. Heidi Heitkamp’s re-election bid in North Dakota is doomed, the more damage Ford’s tale takes—and the more individuals implicated in her last-minute attempt to derail Kavanaugh’s nomination—the more Democrats are going down.
Other likely victims include Sen. Claire McCaskill (Missouri), Sen. Tammy Baldwin (Wisconsin), Sen. John Tester (Montana), and Sen. Joe Donnelly (Indiana). One sleeper to watch is Michigan’s race, which pits long-time Sen. Debbie Stabenow against newcomer and Donald Trump favorite John James.
Other than senators running in California or in other states of like-mind liberalism, once the dirt on Ford’s charge against Kavanaugh begins to fly no Democrat senator is safe—with the possible exception of the one expected Democratic yes vote for Kavanaugh, to be cast by Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia.
The Federalist · by Margot Cleveland · October 6, 2018