Leland Keyser — a friend of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford — told the FBI that she felt pressured to clarify the statement that she made regarding the alleged assault by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. According to the Wall Street Journal, Dr. Ford’s allies pushed Keyser to update her original statement in which she claimed to know nothing about the event.
Dr. Ford has said that Keyser was present at the party where she was allegedly assaulted. When asked to comment on the assault, Keyser noted that she had no knowledge of the event in question.
“Ms. Keyser asked that I communicate to the Committee her willingness to cooperate fully with the FBI’s supplemental investigation of Dr. Christine Ford’s allegations against Judge Brett Kavanaugh. However, as my client has already made clear, she does not know Judge Kavanaugh and has no recollection of ever being at a party or gathering where he was present, with, or without, Dr. Ford,” said Keyser’s attorney Howard J. Walsh III.
On September 23, Keyser added to her statement, saying that she believed Dr. Ford’s account despite not remembering the event.
Dr. Ford said that she wasn’t surprised that Keyser wouldn’t recall the party because it was “unremarkable” to most people. She also said that Leland has “significant health challenges,” which has kept her from being more involved in the hearings.
Blasey Ford on statements from other party attendees: "I don't expect that P.J. and Leland would remember this evening. It was a unremarkable party. It wasn't a more notorious party. Because nothing remarkable happened to them that evening. They were downstairs." pic.twitter.com/NrIJ9Cz9k0
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) September 27, 2018
According to the Wall Street Journal report, retired FBI agent Monica McLean — a friend of Dr. Ford’s — urged Keyser to clarify the statement that she had made. After finding that Keyser’s initial report was being used to refute Dr. Ford’s allegations, individuals asked that Keyser expand her account, without changing it significantly.
The FBI reportedly included text messages between McLean and Keyser in its report on the investigation into the allegations against Judge Kavanaugh. McLean’s lawyer refutes the claim that she put any pressure on Keyser.
“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,” David Laufman said.
The Daily Mail reported that Keyser was blindsided by Dr. Ford’s use of her as a corroborating witness.
“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,” a family member told the Daily Mail.
Judge Kavanaugh has denied all allegations of sexual misconduct. Kavanaugh’s nomination is being debated today in the Senate.