Chuck Grassley Hints That Christine Ford and Her Legal Team May Have Illegally Contacted Witnesses

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, speaks as Christine Blasey Ford testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool)

Yesterday, Chuck Grassley sent a blistering letter to the legal team allegedly representing Christine Ford. I say allegedly, because we don’t know who is paying for them and, therefore, we don’t know whose interests they are actually representing. In the letter, Grassley reiterates his demand for documents that Ford has refused to share with the Senate Judiciary Committee and he reminds them of who is conducting the investigation:

The U.S. Senate does not control the FBI. If you have an objection to how the FBI conducts its investigations, take it up with Director Wray. But don’t raise that objection as a reason not to respond to this Committee’s demand for relevant evidence. The FBI’s investigation decisions aren’t our concern. Even if the FBI never interviews Dr. Ford, or interviews her 10 times, this committee has a constitutional obligation to investigate Dr. Ford’s allegations, and that’s what we’ve been doing since we became aware of her allegations.

What is most interesting is this last paragraph:

In addition to the evidence I requested in my October 2 letter, in light of recently uncovered information, please turn over records and descriptions of direct or indirect communications between Dr. Ford or her representatives and any of the following: (1) U.S. Senators or their staffs, particularly the offices of Senators Feinstein and Hirono, other than your communications with me and my staff in preparation for the September 27 hearing; (2) the alleged witnesses identified by Dr. Ford (Leland Keyser, Mark Judge, and Patrick “P.J.” Smith); and (3) Debbie Ramirez, Julie Swetnick, or their representatives.

We can surmise from this that in talking to Mark Judge, Leland Keyser, Patrick Smyth, and Debbie Ramirez that one or more of them (probably Leland Keyser, according to this Wall Street Journal article) said that they had been contacted by someone on Ford’s legal team. But the inclusion of Ramirez and Swetnick are also curious. Either this is just part of an investigative fishing expedition, or there is evidence that Ramirez and/or Swetnick, or their legal teams, were coordinating information releases to maximize effect. When one looks at Michael Avenatti’s frenetic carnival of perjury, it isn’t hard to imagine that he believed he was helping a larger purpose.

As we know from Paul Manafort’s obstruction of justice conviction, it is a federal crime to contact a witness in an investigation. Period. Some of the specifications in Manafort’s conviction were calls which were not answered. Trying to talk to them about their testimony, it follows, is more serious. All snark aside, there is literally no legitimate reason for Ford or for anyone from her team to contact anyone who could be called upon to try to corroborate or refute Ford’s story.

All in all, the Kavanaugh affair is looking more and more like a coordinated political hit. It is clear that Ford perjured herself in her testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee. And the only person paying a price for this is Brett Kavanaugh, who has had a 30-year reputation trashed and who will be confirmed in a party-line vote when he should have been confirmed by voice vote.

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