Leland Keyser told the FBI last year that she was pressured into saying she believed her friend Christine Blasey Ford's allegations of sexual assault against Justice Brett Kavanaugh, a charge that amounts to witness tampering.
The bombshell allegation was first reported in the book "Justice on Trial: The Kavanaugh Confirmation and the Future of the Supreme Court" by Mollie Hemingway and Carrie Severino, but received new life Monday after CBS confirmed the claim.
According to CBS News reporter Jan Crawford, Keyser did not believe Ford's story, but publicly said she did only because Ford's allies threatened her.
"Speaking for the first time to the [New York Times], Ford's close friend Leland Keyser, who Ford said was at the party [where Ford alleged Kavanaugh assaulted her] said she didn't believe Ford's account and that it 'just didn't make any sense.' She said she also told the FBI Ford's allies pressured her to say otherwise," Crawford reported.
However, it's not clear who pressured Keyser or what threats were made against her.
The allegation unravels Ford's allegations against Kavanaugh and undermines the New York Times' reporting, which claimed in a controversial article over the weekend that Ford's accusations are "credible."
According to the Washington Post, Keyser does not believe Ford's story and cannot remember the party where Ford alleged Kavanaugh assaulted her.
"I just really didn't have confidence in the story," Keyser reportedly told New York Times reporters Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly.
Speaking of Ford's allegations, Keyser told the reporters, "Those facts together I don't recollect, and it just doesn't make any sense."
Keyser's statement is significant, not only because it alleges witness tampering, but because all of the people that Ford identified as being at the party where she was allegedly assaulted have said they do not remember the party having even occurred.
"Now, all four people that Ford identified as being at that high school party in the summer of 1982 have now said that no such party occurred," Crawford reported. "And today, both the Republican chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Democratic chair of the House Judiciary Committee said they would not support impeaching Kavanaugh."