Christine Blasey Ford — who’s been driven out of her home and threatened in the days since she publicly accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault — previously told at least four people about the allegations who are now willing to corroborate her claims.
Her lawyers sent sworn and signed declarations from Ford’s husband and three friends willing to back up her accusations to the Senate Judiciary Committee, USA TODAY reports. Ford, a 51-year-old research psychologist, alleges Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed, groped her over her clothing, and tried to muffle her protests during a teen party in the early 1980s when she was 15 and he was 17. Kavanaugh, Trump’s second Supreme Court nominee, has categorically denied all accusations against him. Both are scheduled to testify Thursday morning before the panel of senators, as well as a female private attorney asked to handle cross-examination.
Republicans have fiercely questioned the timing of Ford’s accusations against Kavanaugh, as he was likely days away from being confirmed to the Supreme Court when the Washington Post first reported her allegations. President Donald Trump, in defending his nominee, said on Twitter that if Ford’s alleged assault was “as bad as she says,” she would’ve immediately filed charges with police.
Yet Ford did tell people — just not police — her friends and loved ones say. Plus, she named a witness, Mark Judge, who was allegedly in the room when Kavanaugh attacked her. Judge has denied that he was present. Ford’s legal team has still pleaded with the panel to summon Judge for sworn testimony. He’s not scheduled to testify.
But her legal team can submit sworn affidavits to the panel.
Ford’s husband, Russell Ford, says he learned of the alleged sexual assault around the time of their marriage, and discovered further details during a couple’s therapy session in 2012. At that time, he said, Ford mentioned Kavanaugh as the alleged attacker.
Adela Gildo-Mazzon said in her signed declaration that Ford told her about the alleged assault during a meal in Mountain View, California, back in 2013. Gildo-Mazzon recalled Ford being “visibly upset” as she spoke of her assault.
Years later, Ford also brought up the accusations to her friend Keith Koegler, he said, as they were discussing Brock Turner’s prison sentence.
Koegler recalled Ford being upset about Turner’s short sentence, saying that she had been assaulted in high school by a man who went on to become a federal judge in Washington, D.C. She then brought it up again, he said, shortly after Justice Anthony Kennedy retired from the Supreme Court. She brought up Kavanaugh by name in an email exchange with Koegler.
Then, in 2017, Ford revealed the allegations to her neighbor Rebecca White. White had recently written about her own experience with sexual assault on social media and was out walking her dog when Ford brought up the post, saying she also was a survivor and that her alleged attacker went on to become a federal judge.
It can take survivors of sexual assault years, or even decades, to feel comfortable coming forward. In a letter dated July 30, Ford described her alleged assault to California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. That letter was made public over the weekend after a second woman, Deborah Ramirez, detailed an alleged incident of sexual misconduct to The New Yorker. She said Kavanaugh exposed himself and thrust his penis in her face during a college party at Yale University, but has not been called to testify.
Republicans have scheduled a committee vote on Kavanaugh for Friday. If they vote in favor of the judge, their recommendation would be sent to the full Senate, which would then vote to confirm Kavanaugh to the high court.
Cover: President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is sworn-in before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018, to begin his testimony in his confirmation hearing to replace retired Justice Anthony Kennedy. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)