There are holes in Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony.
This doesn’t mean she is lying. It doesn’t mean she did not suffer sexual assault of some kind, and it doesn't mean she doesn't suffer from PTSD or isn't terrified to testify. The holes in Ford’s testimony demonstrate there is very little proof that corroborates it was Brett Kavanaugh who assaulted Ford some decades ago.
In a relatively short period, Ford gave an initial brief testimony detailing the events surrounding the event where she says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her. Throughout the entire testimony and subsequent questions, there has been no corroborating evidence brought forth of any kind. This means there has been no other person, event, detail, or evidence that shows anything outside of her testimony, aligning with her testimony.
Still, Ford’s testimony itself seems to have a few holes:
- Ford's account of who attended the party has changed several times. According to the Washington Post report, Ford's therapist's "notes say four boys were involved, a discrepancy Ford says was an error on the therapist’s part. Ford said there were four boys at the party but only two in the room." Ford's polygraph contradicts this statement. In her polygraph she said there were “4 boys and a couple of girls at the party.” During her testimony on Thursday, Ford revised her WhatsApp conversation with the Washington Post reporter "to clarify that more than four people may have been present at the party in question and that an individual named 'PJ' was not a 'bystander' to her alleged attack and that she does not allege that he knew about it."
- Ford says she did not name Kavanaugh in her therapy sessions. Her husband, however, told the Washington Post that Kavanaugh did come up during the sessions. As the Washington Post report said, "In an interview, her husband, Russell Ford, said that in the 2012 sessions ... he recalled that his wife used Kavanaugh’s last name and voiced concern that Kavanaugh — then a federal judge — might one day be nominated to the Supreme Court."
- Ford referred several times to the hippocampus, the center of the brain that holds emotion and memory, and that it aids in searing trauma into that part of the brain. However, the only things that seem seared into her brain are things that mar Kavanaugh — not anything that could prove her allegations such as the exact year, day, time of day, how she arrived at the party, how she got home from several miles away, or the name of the fourth person she remembers attending the gathering.
While these holes in Ford’s story do not mean she hasn't suffered some kind of trauma or assault at the hands of one man or even many, there are enough gaps that indicate she does not have perfect credibility. Her own story does not add up. There is no one else that can corroborate her story — only friends who say they heard it from her or want to believe her version. The people she says were at the party say they don't remember it.
It may very well be that Ford is in anguish and terrified, but her story does not seem to implicate Kavanaugh in any way beyond her words.
Nicole Russell (@russell_nm) is a contributor to the Washington Examiner's Beltway Confidential blog. She is a journalist who previously worked in Republican politics in Minnesota.