If you’re among those who were betting that Christine Blasey Ford would not show up for today’s hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, you’ll need to pay up. Ford not only showed but did a convincing job of appearing emotional, seeming to fight back tears as she read through her opening statement.
Before Ford spoke, Chairman Chuck Grassley read a summary of the events that led up to today’s hearings, including a timeline that revealed that ranking Democratic member Dianne Feinstein sat on the letter Ford had sent her for the better part of two months before sharing it with the committee at large. That still remains a weakness in the Democrats’ argument that they are interested solely in the truth.
Rachel Mitchell, the hand-picked prosecutor Republicans had recruited to ask Ford questions, has so far come off more as a fact-checker than an investigator determined to ferret out the truth. She has seemed reluctant to point up contradictions in Ford’s recollections, perhaps to counter the image the Left has fostered that the Republicans have bullied Ford. One inconsistency Mitchell left on the cutting room floor was Ford’s insistence, on the one hand, that she has been eager to maintain her anonymity with her decision to contact the Washington Post in July.
The proceedings themselves have been disjointed, with Mitchell and committee members — so far limited to Democrats (presumably, the Republicans will have their day in court this afternoon) — each being allotted a five-minute block before having to yield the floor. As National Review contributor and attorney Andrew McCarthy notes:
This is an awful process. If you're going to have an evidentiary hearing, it's not fair to the witness or conducive to the goal of getting to the bottom of things to disjoint hearing with 5-minute rounds rather than let each side have time to develop lines of inquiry.
— Andrew C. McCarthy (@AndrewCMcCarthy) September 27, 2018
Ford has seemed credible for the most part, though several of her responses have at times been curious, to say the least. She claims not to have understood the several offers by the Republican leadership to fly out to her home to conduct the hearings privately. How that is possible for a native speaker of English is truly puzzling.
Five times now we hv granted extension for Dr Ford to decide if she wants to proceed w her desire stated one wk ago that she wants to tell senate her story Dr Ford if u changed ur mind say so so we can move on I want to hear ur testimony. Come to us or we to u
— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) September 22, 2018
One out-and-out lie she was caught in harked back to her claim that she couldn’t fly from her home in California to Washington because “she is uncomfortable in confined spaces.” Behold:
Despite Dr. Ford's reported fear of flying (which was her excuse for not being able to testify in a timely manner before the Senate Judiciary) she admits she traveled to DC in a plane. pic.twitter.com/suaLy4yguD
— The Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) September 27, 2018
The afternoon session is about the begin. More later.