A former classmate of Christine Blasey Ford tells NPR that she does not know if an alleged sexual assault by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh took place as she first suggested on social media.
“That it happened or not, I have no idea,” Cristina King Miranda told NPR’s Nina Totenberg. “I can’t say that it did or didn’t.”
That’s different from what Miranda wrote Wednesday in a now-deleted Facebook post that stated definitively, “The incident DID happen, many of us heard about it in school.”
Ford alleges that more than 30 years ago, when she and Kavanaugh were teenagers in high school, he sexually assaulted her at a party – holding her down, groping her, attempting to remove her clothes and putting his hand over her mouth when she tried to shout.
He has categorically denied her allegations, which suddenly put Kavanaugh’s nomination on hold, as lawmakers seek answers.
Miranda’s new comments are a significant development in what remains a largely “she said, he said” account of events between Ford and Kavanaugh.
“In my [Facebook] post, I was empowered and I was sure it probably did [happen],” Miranda told NPR. “I had no idea that I would now have to go to the specifics and defend it before 50 cable channels and have my face spread all over MSNBC news and Twitter.”
Miranda noted on Twitter that she did not have “first hand knowledge” of the incident.
Miranda said staff from the Senate Judiciary Committee had reached out to her, something she was not expecting. She said she will not go through with a committee interview if asked.
Miranda says she played soccer with Ford — whom she refers to as Chrissy — in high school and that she continues to support her. Miranda added that despite not knowing specifics of what went on at the party three decades ago, she remembers that there was a “buzz” that went around possibly on a weekend about the party where an alleged incident involving students from her school and Kavanaugh’s took place.
It is something, she said, that was not surprising to hear given the culture of drinking and partying, but she remembers being struck by the “gravity” of what was being talked about.
Miranda said she believes Ford, noting that it is unlikely that someone would put herself and her family through such scrutiny if it wasn’t true.
Ford’s lawyers continue to say that they want a full FBI investigation to take place before Ford will testify. Republicans in the Senate are insisting she testify Monday — either publicly or privately.
Democrats have objected to the deadline, not wanting to let the hearing degenerate into Kavanaugh’s word against Ford’s. They fear that without a shared set of facts, Republicans would simply move quickly after the testimony to confirm Kavanaugh.
The FBI has already conducted a background check on Kavanaugh and added Ford’s letter to Kavanaugh’s file. Despite Republican claims that investigations into these matters are the sole responsibility of the Senate, the FBI could open a more extensive investigation.
But the White House would have to ask for it. At this point, though, that has not happened and is unlikely to.
“It would seem that the FBI really doesn’t do that,” Trump contended Wednesday. “They’ve investigated about six times before, and it seems that they don’t do that.”
Asked if he would ask the FBI to open a deeper investigation, Trump said he was content to “let the senators do it.” He then added that he thinks it’s “very unfair” what’s happening to Kavanaugh.
“It’s very unfair, I think, to — as you know, Justice Kavanaugh has been treated very, very tough, and his family,” the president said. “I think it’s, a, very unfair thing what’s going.”