A letter posted to Facebook on Tuesday appeared to confirm Christine Blasey Ford‘s sexual assault allegation against embattled Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. A corresponding tweet was also posted by a Twitter user with the same name as the author of the Facebook post.
Hours later, the tweet was deleted from Cristina King‘s account and the Facebook letter appears to now only exist as a screen capture. In the interim, however, multiple high-profile media and legal figures shared the claims contained in King’s letter–apparently without verifying any aspects of King’s story.
In the letter, King directly addressed the alleged sexual assault:
Christine Blasey Ford was a year or so behind me, I remember her. This incident did happen. Many of us heard about it in school and Christine’s recollection should be more than enough for us to truly, deeply know that the accusation is true. We are all in some way from that time, at least me, Christine, and I applaud her courage and dignity.
King begins her letter by reflecting upon some of her own experiences in the upper-crust Maryland preparatory school culture–including allegedly being stood up for prom by Kavanaugh’s longtime friend (and alleged witness to the alleged assault) Mark Judge. The lengthy Facebook post also notes that King was a signatory on the letter of 599 Holton-Arms alumnae who came out in support of Ford after her identity was revealed by the Washington Post on September 16.
She writes, “I signed this letter–it makes me proud to have attended Holton Arms. The current situation involving Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh touches a very personal nerve and has unearthed memories, good and bad, that I had buried deep from my time at Holton. I graduated from Holton and knew both Brett Kavanaugh, not well, and Mark Judge…I asked him to go to my junior or senior prom with me, can’t remember now which one. I just remember how horrible I felt when he stood me up because he got bombed a few hours before the prom dinner.”
In the corresponding tweet, she wrote:
I graduated from Holton Arms, and knew both Brett Kavanaugh and Mark Judge. Christine Blasey Ford was a year or so behind me, I remember her. I signed this letter. The incident was spoken about for days afterwords in school. Kavanaugh should stop lying, own up to it and apologize.
Leaving aside any forensic comparison of the various accounts, King’s charges, of course, would clearly bolster Ford’s credibility–with many commentators noting that the detailed accusations, if true, would likely function as a nail in the coffin of Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court bid. But, what about King’s own credibility? That’s an open question at present.
After King deleted her corresponding Twitter post, she was pressed as to why she would have done that. In response, she tweeted, “Hi all, deleted this because it served its purpose and I am now dealing with a slew of requests for interviews from The Wash Post, CNN, CBS News. Organizing how I want to proceed. Was not ready for that, not sure I am interested in pursuing. Thanks for reading.”
As noted, the original Facebook post/letter was quickly shared across social media–apparently without any vetting of the claims contained therein.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution‘s columnist Jay Bookman tweeted:
This is the letter, posted on Facebook, from a woman who knew Kavanaugh, Judge and Blasey Ford and claims that the attack did happen, that “many of us heard about it in school,” and that it was talked about for days afterward.
The FBI should interview her and others. pic.twitter.com/OZmEGP1Q1G
— Jay Bookman (@jaybookmanajc) September 19, 2018
CNN’s Asha Rangappa retweeted the Bookman tweet with the caption, “WOW.” Thirteen minutes later, Rangappa conceded that the letter was not verified whatsoever. She wrote:
Good points made by commenters that this letter has not been vetted/verified. It says it’s from someone who signed the Hilton-Arms letter of support for Dr. Ford (and was apparently Mark Judge’s prom date). If she goes on the record, then this (IMO) is very powerful.
— Asha Rangappa (@AshaRangappa_) September 19, 2018
Left unsaid was the fact that King’s story, if false, would potentially weigh against Christine Ford–at least in the public imagination.
Liberal law professor Laurence Tribe also shared the letter via Twitter. He noted, “This letter absolutely needs to be followed up by the Senate Judiciary Committee, the FBI, and the WH. If authentic, it must lead to immediate postponement of the Monday #Kavanaugh hearing and to reopening of the FBI background investigation. THIS COULDN’T BE MORE EXPLOSIVE.”
So, what do we know?
For one, none of the new information contained King’s letter is presently in dispute by the parties involved–at least not now. Law&Crime reached out to Mark Judge’s attorney Barbara Van Gelder. When asked about the prom date with King, Gelder said her client was not going to speak any further about the claims made by Ford against Kavanaugh and released the following statement, “Mr. Judge does not wish to be inserted into the public record any more than he already has.”
For two, a woman named Cristina King did, in fact, sign the Holton-Arms letter in support of Ford. As noted by Business Insider’s John Haltiwanger, one “Cristina King” affirmed that she graduated class of 1983. This date would appear to mesh with the timeline provided by Ford in her original accusation against Kavanaugh and with King’s statement that “Ford was a year or so behind” her.
— John Haltiwanger (@jchaltiwanger) September 19, 2018
Law&Crime reached out to various authorities at Holton-Arms–including their alumnae director–for confirmation, but no response was forthcoming at the time of publication.
As for following up with King herself? She’s since foreclosed against that.
To all media, I will not be doing anymore interviews. No more circus. To clarify my post: I do not have first hand knowledge of the incident that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford mentions, and I stand by my support for Christine. That’s it. I don’t have more to say on the subject.
— Cristina King Miranda (@reinabori) September 19, 2018
Law&Crime attempted to contact King regardless, with a simple ask for documentary evidence of her attendance at Holton Arms, and will update this space if and when a response is received.
[image via via Drew Angerer and Getty Images]