Leland Keyser Told NYT Reporters That Blasey Ford's Story 'Didn't Ring Right to Her'

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By Susan Jones | September 17, 2019 | 10:43 AM EDT

Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her at a party 37 years ago, preparers to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 27, 2018. (Photo by Win McNamee/AFP/Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) - Some of the most interesting information relayed by two New York Times reporters in their new book about Brett Kavanaugh never made it into the newspaper article that caused so much controversy and required a major correction.

In her tearful testimony before Congress last year, Christine Blasey Ford said she remembered "my friend Leland" attending the impromptu party -- at an address Ford could not recall -- where Brett Kavanaugh supposedly assaulted her.

But Leland Keyser told the two New York Times reporters that after careful reflection, she doesn't remember the alleged incident at all. She doesn't think it happened.

Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly, authors of "The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation," appeared on CNN Tuesday morning, where host Alisyn Camerota noted that during the Kavanaugh confirmation hearing, "there was a feeling of, if only we could talk to her friend who she went to the party with. Surely the friend could corroborate or deny what happened at that party or her memory of it. Well, it turns out you did talk to that friend. And is it fair to say that friend doesn't really believe -- not only does she not corroborate Blasey Ford's version, she doesn't necessarily believe it happened?"

"That's right, and this is a very interesting narrative in the book," Kate Kelly responded.

 

[Again -- that "very interesting narrative" never made it into the recent New York Times article that smeared Kavanaugh all over again. And for the record -- Mollie Hemingway of the Federalist says she and her co-author first broke the news about Leland Keyser on July 9 in their book, "Justice on Trial.")]

"And this friend Leland Keyser is on the record for the first time with us in the book," Kelly told CNN:

Essentially, Leland said consistently last year in the reporting of this that she doesn't recall the incident one way or another. At the time in 2018 she did say to a reporter, words to the effect, you know, Dr. Ford is my friend, and I believe her.

After that, later in the process and during the FBI investigation last fall, she reflected on it. She had an initial meeting with the FBI at which she said whatever she could recall.

She then went back, rested, really thought hard about the events that were being discussed. Looked at high school photographs of Brett Kavanaugh that were circulating around and decided she didn't find him to be a familiar face at all. She had dated his very good friend Mark Judge, who was alleged to be in the room during the alleged Blasey Ford assault. She had dated him briefly. So she knew some of those boys, but Kavanaugh's face didn't ring a bell.

And she also thought the circumstances around the alleged incident, the fact that Ford had been at a certain country club that day, the fact that it was a relatively small gathering, among other things, didn't ring right to her. So she initiated a second conversation with the FBI and reported all this to them, along with the fact that she had felt pressured to change her story by friends of Blasey Ford's and hers from high school.

Now, to be fair, we have not heard that Ford directed that or even knew about it at the time, but that that pressure was going on.

Camerota let that “very interesting narrative” pass without further comment.

In their newspaper article, Kelly and Pogrebin highlighted an allegation of Kavanaugh's Yale classmate Max Stier, who told the FBI that he saw Kavanaugh with his pants down at a drunken dorm party, "where friends pushed his penis into the hand of a female student.”

According to the article, Stier "notified senators and the F.B.I. about this account, but the F.B.I. did not investigate and Mr. Stier has declined to discuss it publicly."

What the article did NOT say -- and what the New York Times later corrected -- is that the woman allegedly accosted does not remember the incident at all.

"The book reports that the female student declined to be interviewed and friends say that she does not recall the incident. That information has been added to the article," the newpaper's correction noted.

 

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