The Mitchell Memo

by Bradley Eli, M.Div., Ma.Th.  •  •  October 2, 2018   

Demolishing Ford's testimony

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The testimony of Brett Kavanaugh's accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, is being demolished by her examiner, Rachel Mitchell, who was tapped to question Ford during the Senate Judiciary hearings.

Here are some of the bullets that Ford gave to Mitchell, who used them to shoot down Ford's allegations that Kavanaugh attempted to abuse her. In her memo, Mitchell highlights the following inconsistencies in Ford's ever-changing account:

  • In a July 6 text to the Washington Post, she said it happened in the "mid 1980s."
  • In her July 30 letter to Senator Feinstein, she said it happened in the "early 80s."
  • Her August 7 statement to the polygrapher said that it happened one "high school summer in early 80's," but she crossed out the word "early" for reasons she did not explain.
  • A September 16 Washington Post article reported that Dr. Ford said it happened in the "summer of 1982."
  • Similarly, the September 16 article reported that notes from an individual therapy session in 2013 show her describing the assault as occurring in her "late teens." But she told the Post and the Committee that she was 15 when the assault allegedly occurred. She has not turned over her therapy records for the Committee to review.
  • While it is common for victims to be uncertain about dates, Dr. Ford failed to explain how she was suddenly able to narrow the timeframe to a particular season and particular year.

Ford can recall that she had one beer and no medication at the party where she alleges that Kavanaugh attacked her. Mitchell notes, however, that Ford inexplicably can't remember many other key events surrounding the incident.

  • She does not remember who invited her to the party or how she heard about it.
  • She does not remember how she got to the party.
  • She does not remember in what house the assault allegedly took place or where that house was located with any specificity.
  • Perhaps most importantly, she does not remember how she got from the party back to her house.

As Mitchell clarifies, the commute to the party "was a roughly 20-minute ride" for Ford, who does admit to being driven somewhere by someone that night.

"Given that this all took place before cell phones," says Mitchell, "arranging a ride home would not have been easy."

Having 25 years of experience as a career prosecutor of sex-related and other crimes in Arizona makes Mitchell skillful at spotting red flags in such testimony. After outlining several problems with Ford's account, Mitchell said she's inclined to dismiss Ford's testimony as invalid: "For the reasons discussed below, I do not think that a reasonable prosecutor would bring this case based on the evidence before the Committee. Nor do I believe that this evidence is sufficient to satisfy the preponderance-of-the-evidence standard."

Watch the panel discuss the believability of Kavanaugh's accuser in The Download—The Mitchell Memo.

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