An attorney for Leland Keyser stated plainly in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee that his client, a friend of Christine Blasey Ford, does not “refute” Blasey’s sexual assault claim against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
“Ms. Keyser does not refute Dr. Ford’s account, and she has already told the press that she believes Dr. Ford’s account,” the attorney, Howard Walsh, wrote in the letter sent late Friday.
Kavanaugh and Republicans have repeatedly attempted to use a prior statement from Keyser in their defense against Blasey’s allegation. Blasey, now a psychology professor, told the Senate committee this week she is “100 percent” certain it was Kavanaugh who pinned her to a bed at a high school party in what she believed was an attempt to rape her.
Although Keyser believes her friend, Walsh said “the simple and unchangeable truth” is that his client is “unable to corroborate” Blasey’s account because she does not remember it.
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The letter clarifies an initial statement from Keyser that did not comment on the veracity of Blasey’s story.
“Simply put, Ms. Keyser does not know Mr. Kavanaugh and she has no recollection of ever being at a party or gathering where he was present, with, or without, Dr. Ford,” her attorney initially said.
Keyser also told The Washington Post separately that she believed her friend. But that didn’t stop her original comment from being distorted by Republican senators and their Supreme Court nominee.
Kavanaugh said three times in an angry opening statement that Keyser had “refuted” Blasey’s claim.
“Ms. Keyser said under penalty of felony she does not know me, does not recall ever being at a party with me ever, and my two male friends who were allegedly there, who knew me well, have told this committee under penalty of felony that they do not recall any such party and that I never did or would do anything like this,” he said.
Later, Kavanaugh urged the committee to “listen to Ms. Keyser.”
New: Here’s the letter from Leland Keyser’s lawyer to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Keyser says she will cooperate with the FBI, but has no recollection of the incident in question and thus can’t corroborate Ford’s acct, though she says she believes Ford. pic.twitter.com/oApw9YKcdJ
— John Kruzel (@johnkruzel) September 29, 2018
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) also used Keyser’s statement to support Kavanaugh.
Blasey acknowledged her friend’s statement during her Thursday testimony before the committee, saying she did not expect Keyser or anyone else allegedly present to recall the event.
“Nothing remarkable happened to them. They were downstairs,” Blasey said, adding that she did not tell Keyser about the assault at the time.
Keyser wishes “to cooperate fully” with the supplemental FBI investigation into Kavanaugh the committee agreed upon at the eleventh hour, and which President Donald Trump formally requested on Friday.
Mark Judge, the only other witness to the alleged assault, according to Blasey, has also signaled a willingness to cooperate.