Meanwhile, in non-Michael Avenatti news, this seems rather significant, perhaps even more so as to whether we’re having a hearing tomorrow or not. While Christine Blasey Ford’s attorneys continue to make demands for concessions in exchange for an appearance at tomorrow’s Senate Judiciary Committee event, they have not been forthcoming with the proof they claim to have. Beth Wilkinson surprised Norah O’Donnell on CBS This Morning by revealing that Brett Kavanaugh’s legal team has not been provided either the polygraph data nor the doctor’s notes from Ford, on the eve of the hearing:
WATCH: Brett Kavanaugh’s attorney Beth Wilkinson tells us that lawyers for Dr. Ford have not turned over the results of her lie detector test or her therapist’s notes to the Senate Judiciary Committee. pic.twitter.com/ClAUNhwReY
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) September 26, 2018
Is that true? Sen. Orrin Hatch’s office retweeted it with confirmation:
Reminder: Dr Ford’s lawyers haven’t turned over the therapist notes or lie detector test results they shared with the Washington Post
They have been cited as potential corroboration but we have no way of knowing if Judge Kavanaugh is referenced in eitherhttps://t.co/PNQp0F9hcX
— Senator Hatch Office (@senorrinhatch) September 26, 2018
Andrew McCarthy’s latest column clearly points out that a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing is not a trial, not in either a criminal or civil context. Rules of evidence are different, as are procedures and processes. However, one would expect that the committee would see any evidence that purports to corroborate an allegation of wrongdoing well ahead of a hearing intended to thresh out its truth or falsity.
Thus far, Ford has presented the case for her allegation, in the Washington Post and publicly, with the following prospective support:
- She named three people who were allegedly present for the assault, including one who participated in it
- Doctor’s notes from 2012 in which she described the assault
- A recent polygraph, which Ford and her attorneys claim supports her allegation
Thus far, the only support that that has been publicly tested are the witnesses from the alleged incident. All three have denied knowledge of it. Mark Judge, the alleged participant in the assault, says it never happened, while her “lifelong friend” Ms. Leland Keyser says she’s never been in the same room with Brett Kavanaugh, let alone attended parties with him.
That leaves the doctor’s notes and the polygraph. (The four “corroborations” announced by her attorneys today only verify that she’s been telling the story since the 2012 therapy session whence the notes originate.) If Wilkinson’s correct and those haven’t been shared with the committee, that should put Ford’s claims under considerable skepticism. As Wilkinson points out, there seems to already be some discrepancies between those notes and the story she’s telling now, including the lack of identification of her alleged attacker. The quality of the polygraph is also at issue, especially since it’s not known (a) what she was specifically asked, (b) how those questions were framed, and (c) what she was specifically not asked.
The rules of evidence might not be as firm as they are in court, but there is a basic due process/fairness issue here in withholding key evidence from what has clearly become the defense. If that documentation isn’t provided to Kavanaugh and his team, they have no chance at all to test it for probative value — in essence, to defend themselves properly. It’s a kangaroo court, or at least a kangaroo hearing, not an effort to find the truth.
That evidence should be turned over immediately to the committee and to Kavanaugh’s counsel. If Ford and her legal team refuse, the hearing should be canceled and the Senate Judiciary Committee should go to a vote immediately.
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