Carrie Severino, spokesperson for the Judicial Crisis Network, questioned Christine Blasey Ford’s accusations of Brett Kavanaugh’s behavior in high school saying 35-year-old memories could be of just “rough horseplay” instead of attempted rape.
When a CNN anchor challenged Severino’s description of Ford’s account as a range of behaviors from boorish rough horseplay to attempted rape, Severino backtracked saying it was attempted rape that Ford had alleged.
Severino additionally said that Ford’s “perception is one story,” seemingly that can be refuted, while the “[Kavanaugh] says it didn’t happen at all, so under any interpretation he says he was not at a party and it didn’t happen period.”
Judicial Crisis Network has spent at least $4.5 million in ad buys to confirm Kavanaugh, with plans to spend more, and Severino is the former law clerk for Clarence Thomas. Other Kavanaugh allies publicized letters from two former girlfriends to attest to his character.
The discrediting of Ford’s story started with Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley’s statement about the allegations being part of “Democrats’ tactics” concerning Kavanaugh’s confirmation process.
President Trump recently called Kavanaugh a “great gentleman,” and said: “I feel so badly for him that he’s going through this,” Trump said. “This is not a man that deserves this.”
He also called the process of investigating the allegation of sexual assault a “little delay,” and said it was “ridiculous” to think that Kavanaugh might withdraw his nomination.
Some Republican senators such as Orrin Hatch of Utah and John Cornyn of Texas questioned the credibility of the woman who claims to have undergone sexual assault and subsequent trauma, proven by therapist notes.
Cornyn said he was concerned by “gaps” in the account: “The problem is, Dr. Ford can’t remember when it was, where it was or how it came to be.”
Hatch said he saw “lots of reasons” not to believe Ford’s accusation.
“He is a person of immense integrity,” the senator said of Kavanaugh. “I have known him for a long time. He has always been straightforward, honest, truthful and a very, very decent man.”
“They just don’t get it” became a popular way to describe senators’ reaction to sexual violence, wrote Anita Hill, in a recent op-ed in the New York Times.
Hill, who famously was publicly discredited when coming forward about Clarence Thomas, said, “With years of hindsight, mounds of evidence of the prevalence and harm that sexual violence causes individuals and our institutions, as well as a Senate with more women than ever, ‘not getting it’ isn’t an option for our elected representatives. In 2018, our senators must get it right.”