Patterico's Pontifications


Susan Collins, Michael Avenatti And The Vote

Filed under: General — Dana @ 2:56 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Just a quick update here. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), along with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.), voted this afternoon in support of Brett Kavanaugh. Collins had this to say about Christine Blasey Ford’s allegation against the nominee:

I found [Christine Blasey Ford’s] testimony to be sincere, painful and compelling. I believe that she is a survivor of a sexual assault and that this trauma has upended her life. Nevertheless, the four witnesses she named could not corroborate any of the events.

She also rightly observed that the Senate would be “ill-served in the long-term if we abandon the presumption of innocence and fairness, as tempting as it may be.” Sen. Collins also mentioned that at the end of the day, there were inconsistencies and a lack of corroboration in Ford’s story, saying that it failed to meet the “more likely than not” standard.”

Further, she was pointed to the Democrats exploitation of Ford. Democrats who have consistently touted themselves as the torch-bearers for the #MeToo movement:

You have taken a survivor… who also trusted you to protect her and you have sacrificed her well being in a misguided attempt to win whatever political crusade you think you are fighting.

Amusingly, Michael Avenatti took a well-deserved hit from Collins today as she subtly referenced the outrageous claims of his client. Much to his chagrin, her implication was that it was the very outlandishness of his client’s claim that caused her to re-examine the allegations, and believe that Kavanaugh was not be the monster he was being made out to be:

“Some of the allegations levied against Judge Kavanaugh illustrate why the presumption of innocence is so important,” Collins said. “I am thinking in particular not of the allegations raised by Professor Ford, but of the allegation that when he was a teenager, Judge Kavanaugh drugged multiple girls and used their weakened state to facilitate gang rape.”

To which, the ever gracious, I-am-not-a-publicity-whore Avenatti shot back:

Sen. Collins is channeling Donald Trump. Entirely disingenuous and shameful. Where was she when Judge Garland could not even get an up or down vote? This is all about her post-office job opportunities on K street. We shall never forget. Not in Nov. Not in 2020. Not ever.

Sen. Collins should be ashamed of herself for attacking my client and Dr. Ford. How did she make a credibility determination as to my client? How is she qualified to do that without ANY investigation? She did ZERO to determine whether my client and her witnesses were credible.

Because hysteria is all the rage these days, let’s check in with our favorite non-partisan, even-handed journalist:


And let’s throw in a little confused hysteria from the New York Times:



Blasey Ford Buddy: I Felt Pressure to Change My Statement

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:53 am

Via Ed Morrissey comes news that Blasey Ford’s buddy felt pressure to change her statement to make it more favorable to Ford — and you’ll never guess from whom (not Ford):

A friend of Christine Blasey Ford told FBI investigators that she felt pressured by Dr. Ford’s allies to revisit her initial statement that she knew nothing about an alleged sexual assault by a teenage Brett Kavanaugh, which she later updated to say that she believed but couldn’t corroborate Dr. Ford’s account, according to people familiar with the matter.

Leland Keyser, who Dr. Ford has said was present at the gathering where she was allegedly assaulted in the 1980s, told investigators that Monica McLean, a retired Federal Bureau of Investigation agent and a friend of Dr. Ford’s, had urged her to clarify her statement, the people said. …

On Thursday, a day after sending to the White House the report on its investigation into the allegations against Judge Kavanaugh, the FBI sent the White House and Senate an additional package of information that included text messages from Ms. McLean to Ms. Keyser, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Monica McLean is the person who, according to Ford’s ex, received advice from Ford about how to take a polygraph (advice Ford denied under oath ever having given to anyone). McLean denied this and the story died.

Understand: as best as I can tell, the “clarification” requested was likely: if you still believe her, say so. That’s not pressuring someone to lie. But it’s inserting yourself into the process, and in my mind it revives the issue about polygraph training. It certainly makes McLean seem less like a disinterested professional.

Anyway. Kavanaugh will be confirmed this weekend and this will soon all be moot. Because nobody will ever speak of it again. Right?

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