Maricopa County Prosecutor Mitchell Memo Lists Weaknesses in Ford Claim

A memo produced by Maricopa County prosecutor Rachel Mitchell for the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding Christine Blasey Ford’s claim that she was sexually assaulted by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is causing a stir.

Democrats have praised Ford for having the “courage to come forward,” but according to Mitchell, Ford came forward with little.

Mitchell, a widely-respected sex crimes prosecutor, who was chosen by the GOP to question Ford and Kavanaugh, sent a memo to Republican senators calling Ford’s allegations a “he said, she said” case that “is even weaker than that.”

Mitchell found:

In the legal context, here is my bottom line: A “he said, she said” case is incredibly difficult to prove. But this case is even weaker than that. Dr. Ford identified other witnesses to the event, and those witnesses either refuted her allegations or failed to corroborate them. 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.

Dr. Ford has not offered a consistent account of when the alleged assault happened.

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. Dr. Ford has struggled to identify Judge Kavanaugh as the assailant by name.

No name was given in her 2012 marriage therapy notes.

No name was given in her 2013 individual therapy notes.

Dr. Ford’s husband claims to recall that she identified Judge Kavanaugh by name in 2012. At that point, Judge Kavanaugh’s name was widely reported in the press as a potential Supreme Court nominee if Governor Romney won the presidential election.

In any event, it took Dr. Ford over thirty years to name her assailant. Delayed disclosure of abuse is common so this is not dispositive. When speaking with her husband, Dr. Ford changed her description of the incident to become less specific.

Dr. Ford testified that she told her husband about a “sexual assault” before they were married.

But she told the Washington Post that she informed her husband that she was the victim of “physical abuse” at the beginning of their marriage.

She testified that, both times, she was referring to the same incident. Dr. Ford has no memory of key details of the night in question—details that could help corroborate her account.

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.

Her inability to remember this detail raises significant questions.

She told the Washington Post that the party took place near the Columbia Country Club. The Club is more than 7 miles from her childhood home as the crow flies, and she testified that it was a roughly 20-minute drive from her childhood home.

She also agreed for the first time in her testimony that she was driven somewhere that night, either to the party or from the party or both.

Dr. Ford was able to describe hiding in the bathroom, locking the door, and subsequently exiting the house. She also described wanting to make sure that she did not look like she had been attacked.

But she has no memory of who drove her or when. Nor has anyone come forward to identify him or herself as the driver.

Given that this all took place before cell phones, arranging a ride home would not have been easy. Indeed, she stated that she ran out of the house after coming downstairs and did not state that she made a phone call from the house before she did, or that she called anyone else thereafter.

She does, however, remember small, distinct details from the party unrelated to the assault. For example, she testified that she had exactly one beer at the party and was taking no medication at the time of the alleged assault. Dr. Ford’s account of the alleged assault has not been corroborated by anyone she identified as having attended—including her lifelong friend.

Dr. Ford has named three people other than Judge Kavanaugh who attended the party— Mark Judge, Patrick “PJ” Smyth, and her lifelong friend Leland Keyser (née Ingham). Dr. Ford testified to the Committee that another boy attended the party, but that she could not remember his name. No others have come forward.

All three named eyewitnesses have submitted statements to the Committee denying any memory of the party whatsoever. Most relevantly, in her first statement to the Committee, Ms. Keyser stated through counsel that, “[s]imply 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.” In a subsequent statement to the Committee through counsel, Ms. Keyser said that “the simple and unchangeable truth is that she is unable to corroborate [Dr. Ford’s allegations] because she has no recollection of the incident in question.”

Moreover, Dr. Ford testified that her friend Leland, apparently the only other girl at the party, did not follow up with Dr. Ford after the party to ask why she had suddenly disappeared. Dr. Ford has not offered a consistent account of the alleged assault.

According to her letter to Senator Feinstein, Dr. Ford heard Judge Kavanaugh and Mark Judge talking to other partygoers downstairs while she was hiding in the bathroom after the alleged assault. But according to her testimony, she could not hear them talking to anyone.

She told the Washington Post that the notes were erroneous because there were four boys at the party, but only two in the bedroom.

In her letter to Senator Feinstein, she said “me and 4 others” were present at the party.

In her testimony, she said there were four boys in addition to Leland Keyser and herself. She could not remember the name of the fourth boy, and no one has come forward.

Dr. Ford listed Patrick “PJ” Smyth as a “bystander” in her statement to the polygrapher and in her July 6 text to the Washington Post, although she testified that it was inaccurate to call him a bystander. She did not list Leland Keyser even though they are good friends. Leland Keyser’s presence should have been more memorable than PJ Smyth’s. Dr. Ford has struggled to recall important recent events relating to her allegations, and her testimony regarding recent events raises further questions about her memory.

Dr. Ford struggled to remember her interactions with the Washington Post.

Dr. Ford could not remember if she showed a full or partial set of therapy notes to the Washington Post reporter.

She does not remember whether she showed the Post reporter the therapist’s notes or her own summary of those notes. The Washington Post article said that “portions” of her “therapist’s notes” were “provided by Ford and reviewed by” the Post.

But in her testimony, Dr. Ford could not recall whether she summarized the notes for the reporter or showed her the actual records.

She does not remember if she actually had a copy of the notes when she texted the Washington Post WhatsApp account on July 6.

Dr. Ford said in her first WhatsApp message to the Post that she “ha[d] therapy notes talking about” the incident when she contacted the Post’s tipline. She testified that she had reviewed her therapy notes before contacting the Post to determine whether the mentioned anything about the alleged incident, but could not remember if she had a copy of those notes, as she said in her WhatsApp message, or merely reviewed them in her therapist’s office.

Dr. Ford refused to provide any of her therapy notes to the Committee.

Dr. Ford’s explanation of why she disclosed her allegations the way she did raises questions.

She claimed originally that she wished for her story to remain confidential, but the person operating the tipline at the Washington Post was the first person other than her therapist or husband to whom she disclosed the identity of her alleged attacker. She testified that she had a “sense of urgency to relay the information to the Senate and the president.” She did not contact the Senate, however, because she claims she “did not know how to do that.” She does not explain why she knew how to contact her Congresswoman but not her Senator.

Dr. Ford could not remember if she was being audio- or video-recorded when she took the polygraph. And she could not remember whether the polygraph occurred the same day as her grandmother’s funeral or the day after her grandmother’s funeral.

It would also have been inappropriate to administer a polygraph to someone who was grieving. Dr. Ford’s description of the psychological impact of the event raises questions.

She maintains that she suffers from anxiety, claustrophobia, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The date of the hearing was delayed because the Committee was informed that her symptoms prevent her from flying. But she agreed during her testimony that she flies “fairly frequently for [her] hobbies and … work.” She flies to the mid-Atlantic at least once a year to visit her family. She has flown to Hawaii, French Polynesia, and Costa Rica. She also flew to Washington, D.C. for the hearing.

Note too that her attorneys refused a private hearing or interview. Dr. Ford testified that she was not “clear” on whether investigators were willing to travel to California to interview her. It therefore is not clear that her attorneys ever communicated Chairman Grassley’s offer to send investigators to meet her in California or wherever she wanted to meet to conduct the interview.

She alleges that she struggled academically in college, but she has never made any similar claim about her last two years of high school.

It is significant that she used the word “contributed” when she described the psychological impact of the incident to the Washington Post. Use of the word “contributed” rather than “caused” suggests that other life events may have contributed to her symptoms. And when questioned on that point, said that she could think of “nothing as striking as” the alleged assault. The activities of congressional Democrats and Dr. Ford’s attorneys likely affected Dr. Ford’s account.

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25 Comments

  1. Can we get on with the November election and send these politicians, all of them, to the real world to refresh their perspective as well as require a civics curriculum as a condition of reentry into society. The use of Ms Ford as a platform for a tragic problem women AND MEN have suffered is the real atrocity. You may not like President Trump but his unorthodox tactics have enlightened all of us as to the complete abomination our government is today. Term limits and no special benefits for Congress.
    You bet I am voting in November!

    PS – When is everybody leaving the US that said they would if President Trump was elected. I will pay for your bus ticket!

  2. the thing left out of this entire investigation – which is critical if we are to have a fair court for the next life time is – how did judge “K” potty train? Was it easy or did it take months… America needs to know…

  3. Two things I question…
    1) How did Ford know there were NO adults in the house?

    2) Allegedly his hand was over her mouth. She sai she couldn’t breath and feared he would accidentally kill her because of it. His hand was not over her mouth and nose.So,she was able to breath.

  4. Her handlers (lawyers, Fienstine Democratic party need to follow her with fire extinguishers everywhere she goes. YOU KNOW THE OLD SAYING, “LIAR, LIAR PANTS ON FIRE.”

  5. The only rape here is the Democrats exploiting alleged sexual abuse for their political agenda. This leaves Ms Ford’s accusations suspect. She was treated worse by Feinstein when she threw her under the bus to deflect attention to her possibility of leaking Ford’s letter. Children and sexually abused victims should NEVER BE USED especially in the political arena or should I say circus!

    • from newsmax:

      Dear Fellow American:

      Why did Sen. Dianne Feinstein hold the Blasey Ford allegations in her office file for two months . . . not telling anyone, including the FBI?

      I think I know the REAL ANSWER.

      Hear me out.

      If you believe Feinstein, the future of the whole country depends on what Brett Kavanaugh did or not do as a 17-year-old high school student 36 years ago.

      Although she received and sat on the allegation for months.

      As you know, my dad was governor of California, and I have lived here with
      my family almost my entire life.

      I know Dianne Feinstein really well.

      You know they say “follow the money.” In Feinstein’s case you need to follow the votes.

      Feinstein desperately needs the votes.

      She is facing a very unusual election here in California. Under new state rules, her opponent is not a Republican but a Democrat.

      And get this, he’s actually been endorsed by the Democratic Party!

      Her opponent is also a far-leftie, Bernie Sanders type.

      Guess what? All the polls show he’s been closing in on Feinstein this past summer – after she received the Ford letter!

      In fact, Feinstein’s opponent has cut her lead in the polls by half, according to Politico.

      If I know Dianne Feinstein, she is quaking in her Gucci boots that she may lose.

      No surprise, then, that she has suddenly moved hard left in her politics.

      Feinstein had long supported the death penalty for murderers.

      That’s out the window.

      On a dime, she changed her view and now OPPOSES the death penalty!

      She obviously has ZERO principles.

      I believe Feinstein leaked the Blasey Ford letter to The Washington Post.

      She wanted to be a hero to the far left.

      She wants to stop the Sanders insurgent nipping on her heels for her re-election.

      So Feinstein threw Brett Kavanaugh under the bus – destroyed his reputation – all to save her Senate seat.

      Disgusting, isn’t it?

      I want to expose Feinstein and all the Democrats as the biggest hypocrites ever.

      As chairman of The Conservative Trust of America, I am leading a national effort to DEFEND Brett Kavanaugh and get him CONFIRMED.

      I am leading the effort to EXPOSE Democrats like Feinstein, Dick Durbin, Chuck Schumer, Richard Blumenthal, and the others.

      I am leading the effort to KEEP REPUBLICANS on board with Brett.

      Thanks to thousands of supporters like you, The Conservative Trust of America is already reaching millions of Americans to support Brett Kavanaugh.

      We are focusing on KEY SENATORS – Republicans and Democrats who will be crucial for Kavanaugh’s confirmation, senators like Susan Collins, Heidi Heitkamp, Joe Donnelly, Joe Manchin, Lisa Murkowski, and Jeff Flake.

      We are getting thousands of calls placed to these senators’ offices as I write this.

      But remember, our fight all starts with you.

      If you are OUTRAGED like me, I need you to join The Conservative Trust of America to stop this liberal lynching of Brett Kavanaugh.

      We are VERY CLOSE to victory. The FBI investigation is coming to an end.

      The Senate will soon see the FBI report. And then they will vote.

      It will happen. It is just days away.

      I need your support. Brett Kavanaugh needs your support.

      President Trump needs Brett on the Supreme Court.

      We can reach tens of millions of Americans through online and digital media, as well as TV and radio . . .

      But we can only do this if you stand with me.

      Thank you for your faith in me and our cause.

      Yours for America,

      Michael Reagan
      Chairman
      The Conservative Trust of America

  6. Ms. Mitchell. I am a former prosecutor. I watched all of the testimony. Either you are a gutless and inept prosecutor – which I understand from your bio is not the case – or your analysis and comments are obviously politically motivated. I hope you get whatever appointment you are looking for. In watching your performance before the Senate, I had hoped for a fair assessment. You are a disappointing excuse for a prosecutor and an attorney.

    • If you indeed are a former prosecutor, which seems unlikely, I have several questions for you. 1. How many cases did you prosecute where there was no evidence? 2. How many cases did you prosecute where none of the witnesses corroborated what the victim claimed? 3. How many cases did you prosecute where the allegations were 36 years old? 4. Are you familiar with the Bill of Rights? Due Process? Probable Cause? Reasonable Suspicion? Innocent until proven guilty? Please do tell. From a former officer and detective who’s not buying your BS.

      • Mr. Lowe. Unfortunately, you do not understand the role of a prosecutor. In fact, I have tried rape cases (when I was a state prosecutor) that could have been described as “he said”/”she said.” Credibility doesn’t depend on corroborating evidence. Second, you don’t know what the other witnesses said. So, you cannot make a determination of whether their statements were supportive of Ms. Ford’s claims. Other witnesses had the advantage of avoiding direct questions because they were not called to testify. If Ms. Mitchell is an experienced prosecutor, which I believe she is, she could have put any number of questions to the other witnesses that would have shed light on their written statements and Ms. Ford’s claims. Third, I will admit that I never prosecuted cases 36 years old. BUT at least some of the drug conspiracy cases that I prosecuted federally included actions that dated back 10-15 years. And, finally, yes, I am familiar with the Bill of Rights (are you talking about the 6th Amendment? This wasn’t a criminal prosecution so the “speedy trial” clause doesn’t apply. If you are referring to the “fair trial” clause, Mr. Kavanaugh received a very, very fair hearing, not to mention due process under the 5th and 14th Amendments. And finally, I will define “probable cause” for you because I am guessing you don’t really understand it — probable cause means that a prudent and reasonable person would believe that certain facts are probably true. That is a legal standard that applies to obtaining search warrants and arrest warrants – both of which as you should well know, depend on thorough investigation, something that never occurred with regard to Ms. Ford’s allegations. I actually don’t care whether you think I am full of “BS.” I know who I am. I know how to prosecute – at the state level and federally. And I know that if you presented me with a case where so little actual investigation had been conducted, yes, I would turn it down. Then I would tell all of my colleagues what a poor excuse for an officer and detective I thought you were. God help the people in your jurisdiction if you think Ms. Mitchell had enough evidence before her to make any kind of credible judgment.

        • “Second, you don’t know what the other witnesses said. So, you cannot make a determination of whether their statements were supportive of Ms. Ford’s claim” Oh but you have some special connection insight that makes you right above all others because you slept at HJ? – Your a liberal bag o wind know it all that believes ‘your right’ and everyone else on the boat is just fish chum… to which I say NYET! Oh and good morning…

        • “In fact, I have tried rape cases that could have been described as “he said”/”she said.” Those were “cases” – this is not a case, it’s an allegation that would never see the light of day in a courtroom. I hope you didn’t lie in the courtroom the way you lie on this page.

      • Gosh I wish I were you Billy B. I would know it all and be such an amazing person. Darn it. I am just a bag of wind who thinks she knows it all. Just like all other gals who should just keep their dang mouths shut. I will never be able to reach your amazing level of brilliance. But thank you for letting me know that folks like you can name me as a hack without knowing anything about me. That makes your assessment of Ms. Ford so much more credible in my eyes.

        • Well, Barb, aka pontificatorius maximus, your hubris is going to make you an easy target, though I will concede that Ms. Mitchell didn’t seem to live up to all the hype about her.
          However, this is NOT a criminal case.
          Which begs another question: Why, if Ford was evenly remotely believable, didn’t those celebrity champions of women’s rights, Gloria Allred or Nancy Grace magically appear and start waving her banner as they would with any of the other women they’ve represented? Could it be that they knew a skunk when they smelled one and didn’t want to sully their sterling reputations on a shill?

        • it matters not if your are hack or not, your opinion in the ‘know it all’ matter because ‘i used to do this’ is the context in point – matters not what you used to do, I might have even watched the same TV station you did.. now the investigation is over (again for the 5th time!) I’m sure you will not like the answer and some some ‘reason’… though I doubt that, or will it be just another demand for ‘yet more investigation.. of that I’d bet on – cus the delay is all this is about. Heck even the lady’s’ husband says she’s a duck. You(left)still want to agree with her – your personal right – BTW – you do have a google that is interesting if that’s you. Still means zip, your opinion is just that and this item is not a court case, but the D’s want to make it a lynching which is exactly what it’s turned into.

  7. This is nothing but a farce. Plain and simple!! A ploy to keep Judge Kavanaugh from being on the Supreme Court!
    I do not believe one word of this woman’s testimonies!
    How sad are accusations against an innocent man! When there are horrendous occasions where there has been a horrible rape and the woman has total recall and evidence and no one believes her! Our justice system is royally screwed up!

  8. I do not believe one bit of what Ford has stated. As a person who has been abused and has the disorders she named, who is her psychiatrist and what medications is she on? Why is it that not only does not remember the past, she doesn’t remember the present over simple issues of what documents were shared with whom!

  9. I agree with everything you said. I also wonder how such an educated person spoke like a child, acted like a child and had a very poor vocabulary. I also do not have nderstand why she lied about her fear of flying and yet flies all the time. It was such a difficult person to believe. However I think probably she had been abused early in life, I find it difficult to believe she would put herself out there telling lies unless she likes getting all that go fund me money. I think you did a wonderful job in you questioning of her. You were very personable and caring. I am a retired paralegal so I have a little vey little experience! Thanks for your post it was very illuminating to people who do not understand the situation.

    • Ms. Patsy. Aren’t you the most fortunate woman I know. Never touched by a man without your consent. You are one in a million. Good luck to you.

      • That reply is illogical. It is like a person saying I was robbed that means someone else I don’t personally don’t know was also robbed. You don’t have to look far back in the past to see that some women do lie. Look at the Duke Lacrosse players who were falsely accused. Men can rape, women can lie about rape. Both are evil.

  10. I have a very close relative who was raped when she was 14 y/o and I was 15. She related the whole story to me within days. She is now 67 and in all that time she has never altered her story. She remembers all of it. Where she was babysitting, what was going on in the apt to her left, the slap across her face and when the man left.
    She never reported the incident because a good friend on that same night meted out justice for her to her attacker. She was satisfied that she had her justice, end of story. Never told her parents.
    Over the years she has occasionally retold her story to me and nothing ever changes. Is it because she has rehearsed it so well? or it is just seared in her memory? I have always believed her because she is a warm and giving person, helping others and always an up beat person. Never letting life’s down turns get to her, a very amiable person and has had an extraordinary life.
    So in watching this fake news of dr ford, I frankly don’t believe a word, not an iota of truth to her so called story.
    What is worse, she makes skeptics of us all when a genuine rape victim comes forward, a very hard thing to do. (police, rape kits, family & friends etc.) My friend was spared this because of her friends vengeance on her behalf that night. Not that I would condone this but things were different back in 1962 and in certain neighborhoods. For rape victims ford is a slap in the face!
    So ms ford can take her fable and stuff it.
    mr flake confirm Judge Kavanaugh!

  11. The democrat criminals have used her to scre Republicans into submission. I’m surprised the Republicans grew some cajones and stood behind & in front of their nominee, not including our spineless flakey closet democrat, Flake. Get out there and fight like Hell so the criminals are exposed for what and who they are.

  12. I think what the Prosecutor is saying is that Ms Ford lied. lie: to make a statement that one knows is false; a false statement made with intent to deceive. A Democrat to state it briefly.

  13. The body language of Christine Blasey Ford before that committee spoke volumes to any parent who recognizes the signs of a child telling a big, fat lie. During her testimony, her hair partially covered her face which she occasionally weakly pushed away, giving the hurt victim effect in order to garner sympathy, she kept looking over at her lawyer after she answered inquiries from the Senators to verify that she had followed her “coaching,” her vocal tone remained the same whiny, cracked pitch throughout(no Oscar winner here!), all which proved to me that she was lying, apart from her stated facts that she never reported the alleged attack to her parents or the police, she doesn’t remember where it happened, how she got to that party or how she got home, and doesn’t remember much else except her claim that Kavanaugh sexually violated her. That was only recalled after visits to a therapist; recovered memories have been proven to be a hoax. Welcome to the 21st Century Witch Trial!

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