Christin Blasey Ford, in her sexual assault allegations against Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, named her high school friend Leland Ingham, now known as Leland Keyser, as one of the teenagers present at the small house party where she says Kavanaugh violently attacked her. But Keyser issued a statement through her lawyer that was cited by Kavanaugh in his Thursday testimony, as evidence that he could not have committed the assault, per a Washington Post transcript.
In her statement, that was also cited repeatedly by Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley, Keyser’s attorney, Howard Walsh, said the following.
“Simply put, Ms. Keyser does not know Mr. Kavanaugh and she has no recollection of ever being at a party or gathering where he was present, with, or without, Dr. Ford,” according to CNN.
“Dr. Ford’s allegation is not merely uncorroborated, it is refuted by the very people she says were there, including by a longtime friend of hers. Refuted,” Kavanaugh said in his testimony.
But is Keyser’s statement really proof that the assault did not happen? Ford’s attorney, Debra Katz, told CNN that Keyser does not remember the incident simply because Ford never told her about it.
“It’s not surprising that Ms. Keyser has no recollection of the evening as they did not discuss it,” Katz said. “It’s also unremarkable that Ms. Keyser does not remember attending a specific gathering 30 years ago at which nothing of consequence happened to her. Dr. Ford of course will never forget this gathering because of what happened to her there.”
Three people Dr. Ford alleges were at a house party where she claims to have been 100% certain sexually assaulted by Kavanaugh: 1. Brett Kavanaugh, 2. Mark Judge, 3. Patrick J. Smyth, and 4. Leland Ingham Keyser (Ford's friend who says no recollection of being at this party). pic.twitter.com/8BFDZ74jpU
— Steven Harp (@StevenHarp_) September 28, 2018
In her testimony, Ford also said that she had no expectation that Keyser would remember the party where, according to her allegations, Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her.
“She didn’t know about the event [i.e. the assault]. She was downstairs during the event and I did not share it with her,” Ford testified at the Thursday Judiciary Committee hearing.
On Saturday, through Walsh, Keyser issued a new statement, according to CNN, making clear that she supports her high school friend, and that her inability to remember the party should not be interpreted as evidence that it never took place.
“Ms. Keyser does not refute Dr. Ford’s account, and she has already told the press that she believes Dr. Ford’s account,” Walsh said in the new statement. “However, the simple and unchangeable truth is that she is unable to corroborate it because she has no recollection of the incident in question.”
As Mother Jones reported, even in her initial statement, Keyser made clear that she was not attempting to contradict Blasey Ford’s account — a fact not mentioned by Kavanaugh in his testimony, or by Grassley in his repeated references to Keyser’s statement.
“Keyser said that she did not recall the party, but that she was close friends with Ford and that she believes Ford’s allegation,” the Washington Post reported, of Keyser’s initial statement.