Hundreds of former students from Christine Blasey Fords’ high school, Holton-Arms, are circulating an open letter declaring their support for her — and adding that Ford’s alleged experience of sexual assault is “all too consistent with stories we heard and lived while attending” the school themselves.
On Sunday, Ford spoke publicly to the Washington Post about a confidential letter she had written to Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA). In that letter, Ford detailed how Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh pinned her onto a bed, groped her, and tried to remove her clothes when they were teenagers in the early 1980s. She said Kavanaugh covered her mouth when she tried to scream.
“We…are grateful that [Dr. Blassey Ford] came forward to tell her story,” the letter, which has over 200 signatures as of late Monday morning, reads. “It demands a thorough and independent investigation before that Senate can reasonably vote on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to a lifetime seat on the nation’s highest court.”
“Dr. Blasey Ford’s experience is all too consistent with stories we heard and lived while attending Holton,” the letter adds. “Many of us are survivors ourselves.”
The open letter’s signatories graduated from Holton-Arms between 1967 and 2018.
Blasey Ford’s letter detailing her allegations against Kavanaugh has been in Sen. Feinstein’s possession since late July and, although a report in the New Yorker revealed its existence on Friday, Ford did not publicly reveal her name until a Sunday interview with the Washington Post. In the immediate aftermath of going public, Ford has been dismissed as a liar by both the White House and Donald Trump Jr., who posted a meme mocking Ford on Instagram on Monday.
Within a half-hour of the publication of the New Yorker story on Friday, Republican lawmakers on the Senate Judiciary Commitee — in an apparent attempt to preempt controversy over the sexual assault allegations — began circulating a list from 65 women who knew Kavanaugh around the time of the alleged assault in the 1980s. The women claimed that “[f]or the entire time we have known Brett Kavanaugh, he has behaved honorably and treated women with respect.”
65 women of bipartisan backgrounds who knew Judge Kavanaugh in high school: “For the entire time we have known Brett Kavanaugh, he has behaved honorably and treated women with respect” & has “stood out for his friendship, character, and integrity” #SCOTUS https://t.co/9dT54BC2qM pic.twitter.com/5QtcPfwjX5
— Senate Judiciary (@senjudiciary) September 14, 2018
However, Politico reported on Monday that, in the wake of Ford’s decision to speak out publicly on Sunday, just two of the initial 65 women said they’d stand by their statement. Dozens did not respond to the request for comment and two specifically declined to speak again on the record.
Regardless, Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee released another statement on Sunday reiterating their support for Kavanaugh — and blaming Democrats for not raising the issue earlier, when Ford was not ready to come forward.
There is now the distinct possibility that Kavanaugh’s confirmation vote, scheduled for Thursday, will be delayed over the allegations of sexual assault. Sens. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Bob Corker (R-TN), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) have all come forward saying that more time is needed to investigate the accusations.