I do not know what happened 36 years ago. I found Dr Ford’s testimony yesterday to be credible, in that she seemed honest, genuine and sympathetic, but ultimately less than convincing. Here are my red flags:
- The people she listed as being at the party in question, including the guy in the very room, say it didn’t happen. Every one of them. That should give all rational people pause right there. Yet she is 100% certain…
- She took a polygraph, which means nothing. As a psychologist, she should have known it was just window dressing. Why such an emphasis there?
- Body language: her fake-emotional voice while reading her statement and her neotonous childlike pose with head down, eyes looking up and fidgeting in her chair while answering questions. Also, she looked at her notes for answers she should have memory of, and at times looked at Feinstein as if she was going to give her the answer.
- She said she couldn’t testify last week because she feared to fly and wanted to drive. Turns out she flew after all, and actually flies fairly often for business and pleasure.
- Recovered memories are problematic. She may believe it happened as she said, but all or part could have been “suggested.”
- She doesn’t remember key things like how she got to the party, where the party was, when the party was, or how she got home.
- Some of the things she does remember seem odd. Being pushed into the room by someone unseen seems odd. Why did she go upstairs in the first place? Swimsuit under clothes seems odd, too. Presumably it was wet because she was swimming at the country club. Odd.
- Her testimony had discrepancies from her therapist’s notes. They do not corroborate an initial identification of Kavanaugh, just an incident with unidentified people.
- She doesn’t remember key recent facts like who chose the polygrapher and who paid him, or the committee’s offer to come to her for an initial interview.
- The apparent level of her trauma (great) seems out of proportion to the actual alleged assault (pretty minor as “sexual assault” goes).
Memories degrade over time and are malleable. Two people can remember the same event completely differently. But she had the burden of proof for her version, not Judge Kavanaugh. In my opinion, she failed to meet a preponderance of evidence standard let alone proof beyond a reasonable doubt. If I was on a jury, I would be forced to vote to acquit.