At least one of the women to sign a letter defending Brett Kavanaugh against Christine Blasey Ford's sexual assault allegations, stemming from an alleged incident that occurred in high school, never spoke to him.
Last week—fewer than 48 hours after news broke that California Senator Dianne Feinstein had referred a sexual misconduct complaint against Kavanaugh to the FBI—Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley's office released a letter including the names of 65 women with whom Kavanaugh went to high school, who testified to his good character. In the days since, multiple outlets have reached out to each of the women, and on Tuesday the Associated Press reported that many of the signees knew Kavanaugh only peripherally—if they knew him at all.
Still, more than three decades later, all coalesced around a message of support for the Supreme Court nominee, who they said was a "good person" and "stood out for his friendship, character, and integrity."
According to the AP, the letter began as a "series of phone calls among old high school friends," which—in mere hours—became a document Grassley and the GOP would point to in the face of mounting scrutiny over Kavanaugh's past sexual conduct.
When reporters from Politico called the 65 women named in the letter over the weekend, they managed to reach only two who still stood by Kavanaugh. Those who do, however, are vehement in their belief that Ford's claims that Kavanaugh held her down and attempted to force herself on her at a high school party are false.
"Brett wouldn’t do that in a million years," said Paula Duke Ebel, who told the AP she'd known Kavanaugh well during their time as students in Washington's Catholic school system. "I’m totally confident. That would be completely out of character for him."
It's unclear whether these women's character assessments will play any role in Monday's hearing, where Kavanaugh is expected to testify to his version of events before the Senate Judiciary Committee. It's also unclear if Ford will appear before the committee to tell hers.
Despite one her lawyers, Debra Katz, initially telling the press that Ford would be willing to testify in Congress, Ford now says she won't attend a hearing until the FBI investigates her allegations.
"Asking her to come forward in four or five days and sit before the Judiciary Committee on national TV is not a fair process," Lisa Banks, another attorney to Ford, said Tuesday. "If they care about doing the right thing here and treating this seriously as they have said, then they will do the right thing and they will properly investigate this, and she will work with them in that investigation and also to share her story with the committee."
Ford's legal counsel sent an official request to delay the hearing on Wednesday, arguing that thrusting Ford before the committee without first conducting a nonpartisan investigation into her claims would be unfair.
"While Dr. Ford's life was being turned upside down, you and your staff scheduled a public hearing for her to testify at the same table as Judge Kavanaugh in front of two dozen U.S. Senators on national television to relive this traumatic and harrowing incident," reads the document. "The hearing was scheduled for six short days from today and would include interrogation by Senators who appear to have made up their minds that she is 'mistaken' and 'mixed up.'"
Grassley has said the invitation for Ford to appear still stands; Democrats say they're giving Ford a football to kick.
"We’re setting up on Monday a situation where there’s not even a modicum of fairness extended to her through an appropriate FBI investigation so there can be at least some attempt at corroboration," Hawaii Senator Mazie Hirono told CNN on Wednesday.
"She’s not even going to get that, and now she’s being faulted for not coming forward?" she continued. "Give me a break here."