Make that two problems. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Late on Friday, two days before the Senate voted to confirm Brett Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court justice, Christine Blasey Ford’s attorneys delivered a letter to the Senate written by one Keith Koegler, who identifies himself as a friend of Ford.
Koegler doesn’t give his professional credentials, but judging from the opening paragraph of his statement, let’s hope for his sake he’s not an attorney:
My name is Keith Koegler. I am one of Christine Blasey Ford’s corroborating witness. For those of you who aren’t lawyers, the term “corroborating witness” is not synonymous with “eye witness”—someone can be a corroborating witness without having physically been present at the scene of a crime. Indeed, in matters involving sexual assault, there are often no eyewitnesses.
But that’s not what law dictionaries say. Here are the definitions of corroborating witness and corroborate according to USLegal:
Corroborating witness is a witness whose testimony supports or confirms testimony that is already given.
Corroborate means to strengthen or confirm; to support or strengthen with other evidence or to make something more certain.
But Keith Koegler has no evidence to offer beyond what he claims he was told (the law is very particular in this area) by Ford — which for those of you who aren’t lawyers is hearsay, the report of another person’s words by a witness. Hearsay is normally disallowed as evidence in a court of law.
Then there is the issue of timing, which could impact the weight of Koegler’s statement. So when was he first told by Ford that she had been sexually assaulted by Kavanaugh? Was it the day after the incident? A week later? From his letter:
I have a copy of the email thread between Christine and me in which she made it clear that Brett Kavanaugh was the judge who had assaulted her as a teenager. We exchanged those emails on June 29, 2018, two days after Justice Kennedy’s retirement announcement, before there was a shortlist for his replacement. It wasn’t until July 09, 2018, that the President nominated Judge Kavanaugh. [Emphasis added]
By his own admission, Koegler first heard this claim three months ago, nearly four decades after the alleged incident occurred.
This latest witness (and he claims there are more like him who weren’t interviewed by the FBI) offers nothing new or more compelling to the allegations than any Democratic member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, all of whom said in one form or another that they “believe Ford’s truth,” whatever that means.
Here’s Koegler affirmation:
I believe, with every fiber of my being, that Christine Blasey Ford has testified truthfully about her assault by Brett Kavanaugh.
That’s all well and good, but it doesn’t validate Ford’s claim. No one, including her, can say with certainty that her memories, however painful, are unquestionably accurate. Certainly, none of the witnesses that she named, including her best friend Leland Keyser, were able to substantiate her story.
You can read Koegler’s letter in its entirety at Quartz, which was one of many left-leaning websites to run with the story. All are treating it as a shocking new development when in fact it is just more innuendo.