During her testimony on Thursday, Christine Blasey Ford testified that she knew and briefly “went out with” a man that conservative pundit Ed Whelan had suggested that she may have confused with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Ford said that she believed this man was the only mutual friend she shared with Kavanaugh.
What did Whelan say?
In a series of now-deleted tweets, Whelan announced that he had “compelling evidence” that proved Kavanaugh's “categorical denial to be truthful.”
He proceeded to use floor plans of a house and a yearbook photo as evidence to suggest that Ford may have been assaulted by a man who simply looked like Kavanaugh. Whelan named this man, and published his picture.
Whelan later apologized for making that accusation and publicizing the name of this man. He admitted that his tweets “did not advance the discussion in a constructive way.” Whelan has since taken a leave of absence from his position as president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center.
What did Christine Blasey Ford say?
During a round of questions, outside prosecutor Rachel Mitchell asked Ford about her mutual friends with Kavanaugh at the time of the incident in question. Ford testified that to the best of her recollection there was only one: The man that Whelan had identified in his tweets.
Mitchell said that she briefly “went out with” this man, but overall was only “distant friends” with him. Earlier in her testimony, Ford had insisted that there was no chance that she had confused Kavanaugh for anyone else during the alleged incident.
A transcript of the relevant portion of Ford's testimony has been provided below:
MITCHELL: I want to ask you about someone else. You mentioned that there was a classmate who was really sort of the connection between you and Brett Kavanaugh. Who was this person?
FORD: I think that that case with Mr. Whelan, who was looking at my LinkedIn page, and then trying to blame the person, I just don't think that that's right, for us to be talking about that.
M: I'm not trying to blame anybody. I just want to know who the common friend that you and —
F: The person that Mr. Whelan was trying to say looked like Mr. Kavanaugh.
M: OK. How long did you know this person?
F: [thinking] Maybe a couple of months we socialized. but he also was a member of the same country club and I knew his younger brother as well.
M: OK. so a couple months before this took place?
M: OK. How would you characterize your relationship with him, both before and after this took place. This person.
F: He was somebody that — we use the phrase “I went out with,” [using air quotes], I wouldn't say date, I “went out with” [air quotes again] for a few months. that was how we termed it at the time. And after that we were distant friends, and ran into each other periodically at Columbia country club. I didn't see him often. But I saw his brother and him several times.
M: Was this person the only common link between you and Mr. — Judge kavanaugh?
F: He's the only one that I would be able to name right now, that I would like to not name, but you know who I mean. And — but there are certainly other members of Columbia Country Club that were common friends or that were more acquaintances of mine and Mr. Kavanaugh.