Even as Brett Kavanaugh has been sworn in to his new role as associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court, the controversy surrounding the accusations lodged against him by women like Christine Blasey Ford rages on.
According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Leland Ingham Keyser, who Ford said was at the party where she was allegedly sexually assaulted by Kavanaugh, told the FBI that she felt pressured by Ford’s longtime friend and ex-FBI lawyer Monica McLean to change her statement on what happened when speaking to the bureau in the investigation that followed Ford’s public testimony.
Keyser originally said through her lawyer that she did not recall any such party like the one Ford described and did not know Kavanaugh, but after what she said was pressure to “clarify” her statement from McClean and McLean’s lawyer, David Laufman, Keyser told the FBI that she actually believed Ford’s story — she just couldn’t corroborate it.
A close relationship
McLean has become a person of interest in the case of the allegations against Kavanaugh since it was revealed that she is the “beach friend” that Ford was reluctant to name when she testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 27.
McClean was reportedly with Ford when she wrote the now-infamous letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) accusing the then-Supreme Court nominee of sexual misconduct at a high school party when both were teenagers.
McClean also accompanied Ford and her lawyers the day she provided her congressional testimony. But McClean has largely remained out of headlines until recently, when an ex-boyfriend of Ford’s said that despite saying under oath to the Senate Judiciary Committee that she never coached anyone on how to pass a lie detector test, he remembered Ford helping McLean with one.
Her name came back up in the news after these most recent reports were released alleging that McClean had pressured Keyser to “clarify” her statement, a claim McClean and her lawyers have adamantly denied.
“Any notion or claim that Ms. McLean pressured Leland Keyser to alter Ms. Keyser’s account of what she recalled concerning the alleged incident between Dr. Ford and Brett Kavanaugh is absolutely false,” said Laufman, who was allegedly involved in the efforts to cover up Hillary Clinton’s illegal use of a private email server for confidential communication, in Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian tampering in the 2016 presidential election, and in the takedown of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
But the Wall Street Journal reported that mutual friends of Ford and Keyser had contacted the accuser’s former best friend “to warn her that her statement was being used by Republicans to rebut the allegation against Judge Kavanaugh” and urged her to “clarify” it.
Friend left blindsided
Meanwhile, Keyser has been none too pleased about being involved in Kavanaugh debacle. The Daily Mail reported that Keyser was “completely blindsided” when Ford named her as a witness to the alleged sexual assault by Kavanaugh.
“Christine didn’t give her so much as a heads up,” a 52-year-old family member of Keyser’s told the Daily Mail. “As far as I know they haven’t really spoken for several years and they’re certainly not close anymore.”
The family member added: “Leland was completely blindsided by her name being thrown into it all. The first thing she knew about it was when she woke up on Thursday morning and her name was just everywhere. It was crazy.”