The Slatest

Ford Friend Says She Doesn’t Recall Party Where Alleged Kavanaugh Assault Took Place

Supreme Court associate justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh arrives for a meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on August 23, 2018.
Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh arrives for a meeting on Capitol Hill on Aug. 23.
Saul Loeb/Getty Images

A longtime friend of Christine Blasey Ford named Leland Ingham Keyser says she doesn’t know Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and doesn’t recall attending a party with him. Ford said Keyser was at the party where Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were both in high school, but she says she has no memory of it. “Simply put, Ms. Keyser does not know Mr. Kavanaugh and she has no recollection of ever being at a party or gathering where he was present, with, or without, Dr. Ford,” Keyser’s lawyer, Howard Walsh, said in a statement.

Keyser’s lawyer wrote the statement after she was contacted by the Senate Judiciary Committee for information about the alleged incident. “I understand that you have been identified as an individual who was in attendance at a party that occurred circa 1982 described in a recent Washington Post article,” a committee staffer wrote Keyser earlier this week. Keyser told the Washington Post in a “brief interview” that she was close friends with Ford and believes her allegations about Kavanaugh.

Ford herself had told the Post she didn’t think Keyser would remember the party since she had no reason to think anything really out of the ordinary happened there. Ford’s lawyers emphasized that point after Keyser’s statement to the committee became public. “It’s not surprising that Ms. Keyser has no recollection of the evening as they did not discuss it. It’s also unremarkable that Ms. Keyser does not remember attending a specific gathering 30 years ago at which nothing of consequence happened to her. Dr. Ford of course will never forget this gathering because of what happened to her there,” Ford’s attorney, Debra Katz, said.

The White House, however, is using this denial to cast doubt on Ford’s claim. Spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said: “One week ago, Dr. Christine Ford claimed she was assaulted at a house party attended by four others. Since then, all four of these individuals have provided statements to the Senate Judiciary Committee denying any knowledge of the incident or even having attended such a party.” In addition to Keyser, two other people who were allegedly at the party where the assault took place say they have no memory of the incident.

While Republicans are quickly seizing on these statements to question Ford’s credibility, Sen. Dick Durbin agrees with Ford’s lawyers, saying Sunday that there is “no reason” for the other people who were allegedly at the party to remember the event. “It’s no surprise, if another person was … in the house that night and had no occurrence like the one that was stated by Dr. Ford, there’s no reason why they wouldn’t even remember that party scene 36 years ago,” Durbin said on ABC’s This Week.