Professor says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her 35 years ago

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Professor says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her 35 years ago

Postby Crimson847 » Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:40 am

A California college professor, Christine Blasey Ford, has come out as the writer of the now-infamous letter Senator Feinstein provided to the FBI accusing SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault. She says when they were teenagers in high school, Kavanaugh and a friend of his cornered her while they were drunk and Kavanaugh pinned her down and groped her, trying to get her clothes off.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/investig ... story.html

While his friend watched, she said, Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed on her back and groped her over her clothes, grinding his body against hers and clumsily attempting to pull off her one-piece bathing suit and the clothing she wore over it. When she tried to scream, she said, he put his hand over her mouth.

“I thought he might inadvertently kill me,” said Ford, now a 51-year-old research psychologist in northern California. “He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing.”

Ford said she was able to escape when Kavanaugh’s friend and classmate at Georgetown Preparatory School, Mark Judge, jumped on top of them, sending all three tumbling. She said she ran from the room, briefly locked herself in a bathroom and then fled the house.


Democratic Senators are urging that Kavanaugh's confirmation vote be delayed until the FBI can investigate the matter. Republican Senators, meanwhile, are either ducking questions or asking why Feinstein apparently sat on this incriminating letter since July without doing anything about it until last week.
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Re: Professor says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her 35 years

Postby Krashlia » Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:39 am

Crimson847 wrote:
Democratic Senators are urging that Kavanaugh's confirmation vote be delayed until the FBI can investigate the matter. Republican Senators, meanwhile, are either ducking questions or asking why Feinstein apparently sat on this incriminating letter since July without doing anything about it until last week.


That last part is actually a good question. Why do people wait to deliver this stuff at last minute?

Then I remembered that they're Senators of the minority, and this is actually the mother of all delay tactics.
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Re: Professor says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her 35 years

Postby NathanLoiselle » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:44 am

Two problems with holding off the vote.

One, you're innocent until proven guilty.
Two, there'll never be a trial to prove him guilty because too much time has passed.

This is SOOOO a delay tactic.
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Re: Professor says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her 35 years

Postby Crimson847 » Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:53 am

Feinstein reputedly kept the letter secret because Ford (the writer) asked her to. No, I don't know why you'd send a letter like that to a senator and then ask them not to do anything with it. I can think of possibilities, but nothing really compelling. However, after the letter's existence was revealed in a story by the New Yorker, the cat was out of the bag.

What I'm curious about is how the New Yorker found out. If it took actual digging on their part that does a lot to exonerate Feinstein here. But if their source was a shadowy, Dianne Feinstein-shaped figure in a parking garage, that would do a lot to condemn her.



As to the accusation itself, obviously there will be no trial, but there was no trial over the Access Hollywood tape or the Roy Moore accusations either. That said, IMO there are relevant differences. For one, Moore and Trump were known to have poor character already, including with respect to sexual matters in Trump's case, so sexual assault largely fit with what the public already knew about them. Moore and Trump's behavior also occurred when they were adults, not teenagers. Perhaps most importantly, there were multiple independent accusations against both of them, several of them well-corroborated. That wasn't enough to turn the base against them, but it was enough to thoroughly alienate swing voters and push a lot of Republican politicians to temporarily renounce their man.

By contrast, in this case Kavanaugh has been accused by only one woman so far, a psychology professor in California (which will be taken to mean a Democrat). The only corroboration she has is her therapist's notes from 2012, some thirty years after the incident, which say she was assaulted in the manner described when she was a teenager but don't mention Kavanaugh's name (though they do mention that the guy responsible is a person of influence in Washington). Unlike Trump and Moore, Kavanaugh doesn't look like a human garbage fire on a personal level; he doesn't rip off charities or stiff contractors or publish tabloid pieces describing how much better his new wife is in bed than the mother of his children. So I'm not surprised the reaction is different in this case.
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Re: Professor says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her 35 years

Postby Absentia » Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:58 pm

I just don't see what the endgame is for Democrats here. Even if they manage to delay or kill Kavanaugh's nomination, there's no way around the fact that Trump (or Pence, if you want to indulge that fantasy) is going to be the one doing the nominating until January 2021 at the earliest. I don't see either one of those guys giving up and nominating a moderate.
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Re: Professor says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her 35 years

Postby NathanLoiselle » Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:12 pm

How dare you Crimson! How dare you! Moore is a national treasure! A national treasure I say!
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Re: Professor says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her 35 years

Postby Crimson847 » Mon Sep 17, 2018 5:37 pm

Absentia wrote:I just don't see what the endgame is for Democrats here. Even if they manage to delay or kill Kavanaugh's nomination, there's no way around the fact that Trump (or Pence, if you want to indulge that fantasy) is going to be the one doing the nominating until January 2021 at the earliest. I don't see either one of those guys giving up and nominating a moderate.


Presumably the game plan is:

1) Delay confirmation of a nominee until after election

2) Get lucky and win Senate during election

3) Hope Republicans don't get someone through in the lame duck

4) Declare McConnell Rule in full effect, refuse to confirm or even hold hearings for anyone Trump nominates

5) Profit!


Even if #2 happens, though, #3 seems incredibly unlikely. If Democrats win the Senate and nobody's been confirmed yet, Republicans will do whatever they have to do to get a Republican--any Republican--confirmed before the new Congress is seated. If Kavanaugh hits a wall they'll pick someone else, and if that person hits a wall they'll just go through the wall and damn the political consequences. Their base will tar and feather them if they don't do everything possible to fill that seat with a conservative...just like the Democratic base will tar and feather the Dems if they don't at least try this Hail Mary play, regardless of how unlikely it is to work.

Also, even if they can't pull off the above, delaying the confirmation vote until after the election might make life easier for red-state Democrats, preventing them from having to cast a vote that will alienate either swing voters or their base voters right before an election.
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Re: Professor says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her 35 years

Postby NathanLoiselle » Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:59 pm

You forgot the most important part. The "???" part.
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Re: Professor says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her 35 years

Postby cmsellers » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:11 pm

No, he definitely did it. If r/gendercritical has taught me anything, it is that all men are rapists.

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Re: Professor says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her 35 years

Postby JamishT » Tue Sep 18, 2018 6:48 am

This whole thing has been quite the mess.

I've seen some stink raised about the letter that Senator Grassley (I think) got signed by about 65 women who knew Kavanaugh back then, making it sound like it's impossible/suspicious for it to have been put together as quickly as it was.

It's as if people have forgotten that the Internet can make information and messages travel at light speed, that people can sign letters electronically, and rich/powerful people have connections. On the other hand, just because a person has a good reputation doesn't make them innocent either. Also, there were a pair of statements from girls he dated back then that surfaced today, and they back him up. Oddly, both of them are named Maura.


What I don't know is why some are wanting the FBI to investigate. I don't know why the FBI would have jurisdiction, and I don't know what exactly they'd investigate. What we seem to have is a 35 year old account of a drunken party. I don't know what concrete evidence can be uncovered, because there's no video, no physical evidence from that night, and it's literally a she-said-he-said thing.

I wouldn't be surprised if the nomination was withdrawn, nor would I be surprised if he was confirmed. It's crazy to me that an accusation of something that happened in high school would have this power, but I simultaneously understand that attempted rape is a serious serious thing. But even if it did happen, it seems incredibly stupid to assume that someone never changed from the time that they were a teenager. I don't know if it's fair to have things from high school follow someone this far.

Also, when people point out that the accuser passed a polygraph, I'd remind them that Roy Moore also passed one.
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Re: Professor says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her 35 years

Postby Crimson847 » Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:48 pm

JamishT wrote:This whole thing has been quite the mess.

I've seen some stink raised about the letter that Senator Grassley (I think) got signed by about 65 women who knew Kavanaugh back then, making it sound like it's impossible/suspicious for it to have been put together as quickly as it was.


The electronic signature thing seems to be the key misconception with that letter. I get the sense that people are hearing "letter signed by 65 women" and assuming that Kavanaugh's team produced a physical letter like that on the same day Ford went public, which would indeed be weird as hell unless they saw this coming.

On the other hand, just because a person has a good reputation doesn't make them innocent either.


Yeah, to clarify what I said earlier, Kavanaugh's reputation is certainly affecting the public reaction, but while I think that's justified to some degree, when it comes to the question of his objective guilt the problem is that supposedly fine, upstanding people commit private acts of sexual violence all the time. Human garbage fires who treat everyone like crap probably commit sex crimes more often, but they don't have a monopoly on them.

What I don't know is why some are wanting the FBI to investigate. I don't know why the FBI would have jurisdiction, and I don't know what exactly they'd investigate. What we seem to have is a 35 year old account of a drunken party. I don't know what concrete evidence can be uncovered, because there's no video, no physical evidence from that night, and it's literally a she-said-he-said thing.


I don't know why the FBI would have jurisdiction over a sexual assault in Maryland either. Even if the party occurred over in DC I would think the Capitol Police would have jurisdiction.

As for what would be investigated, the suggestion I've heard is to try to locate other attendees of the party and interview them. Somehow I doubt that relying on a 50-year-old's recollection of a drunken high school party will persuade many who aren't convinced by Ford's testimony, though.

Also, when people point out that the accuser passed a polygraph, I'd remind them that Roy Moore also passed one.


Surely Cracked readers already know not to trust "lie detectors"?
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Re: Professor says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her 35 years

Postby Aquila89 » Tue Sep 18, 2018 3:02 pm

JamishT wrote:On the other hand, just because a person has a good reputation doesn't make them innocent either.


When Al Franken was accused of harassment, 36 women who worked on SNL signed a letter of support, saying that he never behaved inappropriately around them. Didn't help him in the end.
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Re: Professor says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her 35 years

Postby NathanLoiselle » Tue Sep 18, 2018 3:22 pm

JamishT wrote:


Come on! That's the same person! One is using her maiden name and the other her married name. She even mentions that he's great "husband" material in the second one.
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Re: Professor says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her 35 years

Postby Deathclaw_Puncher » Tue Sep 18, 2018 5:24 pm

Maybe it's like a Jervis Tetch/Alice situation.
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Re: Professor says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her 35 years

Postby Absentia » Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:47 am

Crimson847 wrote:As for what would be investigated, the suggestion I've heard is to try to locate other attendees of the party and interview them. Somehow I doubt that relying on a 50-year-old's recollection of a drunken high school party will persuade many who aren't convinced by Ford's testimony, though.


Given how malleable human memory is even under the best of circumstances, I don't think any testimony from people who just happened to be at the same party should persuade anybody. In fact, it's entirely possible that Kavanaugh and Ford are both telling the truth as they remember it; maybe he really did it and forgot, or maybe she is experiencing a false memory. We'll almost certainly never know for sure.
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