Report: Friend of Christine Blasey Ford ‘felt pressured’ to change her statement

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When Christine Blasey Ford’s decades-old allegation of sexual misconduct first emerged against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, Ford named her lifelong friend, Leland Keyser, as a witness. But in a sworn statement on Sept. 23, Keyser said she had no recollection of the party or incident in question and had never met Kavanaugh in her life. Just six days later, after Ford testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Keyser issued another statement, revised to emphasize that she believed her friend. Now it appears she may have been pressured to make that change.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Keyser informed the FBI in a recent interview she “felt pressure by Dr. Ford’s allies” to revise her initial statement, “according to people familiar with the matter.” She did clarify it, but perhaps not as substantially as Ford’s allies may have hoped.

Text messages between Keyser and at least one of those friends of Ford, former FBI agent Monica McLean, were included in an additional packet of information the FBI attached to their report, the Journal reported.

Pressure to revise statement

The Sept. 23 statement made clear that Keyser had no recollection of either the party or the incident as described by Ford, and had never met Kavanaugh. The revised statement on Sept. 29 — which still maintained she had no recollection of the incident and that she’d never met Kavanaugh — clarified that Keyser believed Ford and didn’t intend to “refute” her story, but merely was unable to corroborate it.

Friends of Ford, including McLean, are alleged to have contacted Keyser during those six days to warn her that her initial statement was being used by Kavanaugh and Republicans to cast doubt on Ford’s allegation, and urged her to change it to be more supportive of the accuser.

Tangled web

McLean is also the woman who allegedly was coached by Ford on taking a polygraph test, according to a sworn statement from an ex-boyfriend of Ford.

Ford had explicitly denied any such activity while testifying under oath before the Senate — so if the allegation is true, Ford may have perjured herself. McLean has denied ever receiving any polygraph coaching from Ford.

Denial from McLean’s attorney

It is worth noting that the attorneys for Keyser and Ford, as well as the FBI, all declined to provide comments for the Journal’s report.

McLean’s attorney, David Laufman, denied the report, saying, “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.”

Laufman was formerly a top Justice Department official and interviewed Hillary Clinton in 2016 along with fired FBI agent Peter Strzok, according to the Daily Caller. Laufman resigned in February after being implicated in the Trump-Russia dossier conspiracy, his name being revealed in text messages exchanged between Strzok and former FBI attorney Lisa Page.

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To those who supported Ford’s allegations against Kavanaugh, corroboration of Ford’s account by Keyser was key, and it’s now looking like they went out of their way to try and shape Keyser’s statement to be of more assistance to the efforts at dragging down Kavanaugh when the initial statement fell woefully short of that goal.

It will be interesting to see how this story continues to unravel going forward. How many other high-profile Democrat operatives and former Obama administration officials will come out of the woodwork as being involved in this whole anti-Kavanaugh charade?

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