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Brett Kavanaugh’s July 1 calendar entry that could help Ford’s case, explained

It could be corroborating evidence for Ford’s account.

Amanda Northrop/Vox
Li Zhou is a politics reporter at Vox, where she covers Congress and elections. Previously, she was a tech policy reporter at Politico and an editorial fellow at the Atlantic.

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has pointed to his high school calendars as a key piece of evidence that proves he couldn’t possibly have attended the gathering where Christine Blasey Ford has accused him of sexually assaulting her. As the argument goes, if Kavanaugh didn’t put an event on his calendar, he simply wasn’t there.

“If the party described by Dr. Ford happened in the summer of 1982 on a weekend night, my calendar shows all but definitively that I was not there,” Kavanaugh said during opening remarks at a Thursday hearing focused on sexual misconduct allegations against him. (He denies these allegations.)

The calendar doesn’t illustrate much except that he spent a lot of time hanging out with friends, Vox’s Tara Golshan writes. Upon closer analysis, however, one of the events detailed on it could possibly serve as evidence — not for him, but against him.

As the Washington Post notes, Arizona prosecutor Rachel Mitchell — the attorney who questioned both Ford and Kavanaugh — ended up highlighting an interesting connection between a July 1 entry in Kavanaugh’s calendar and the account that Ford has provided regarding the evening of her assault.

In that July 1 entry, Kavanaugh notes plans to go to “Timmy’s for skis with Judge, Tom, P.J. Bernie and ... Squi.” “Skis” is short for “brewskies,” or beer.

It’s a gathering that Kavanaugh detailed in responding to questions from Mitchell:

MITCHELL: The entry says, and I quote, go to ‘Timmy’s for skis with Judge, Tom, P.J. Bernie and ... Squi?’

KAVANAUGH: Squi. It’s a nickname.

MITCHELL: To what does this refer, and to whom?

KAVANAUGH: [after explaining the “Tobin’s House” part] It looks like we went over to Timmy’s. You want to know their last names, too? I’m happy to do it.

MITCHELL: If you could just identify: Is ‘Judge’ Mark Judge?

KAVANAUGH: It is. It’s Tim Gaudette, Mark Judge, Tom Kaine, PJ Smyth, Bernie McCarthy, Chris Garrett.

If she was going any further with that line of questioning, we never found out — Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) took over with his now-infamous rant, and we never heard from Mitchell again.

But the exchange, which initially just seemed like a description of one of several social events on Kavanaugh’s calendar, could actually be quite significant, the Post’s Philip Bump writes.

In his description of the event, Kavanaugh describes a gathering that shares striking similarities with the one where Ford has said an assault on her took place.

What Ford testified about that night

In her account, Ford says that Mark Judge, PJ Smyth, and a friend named Leland Keyser were all present during a gathering where she was assaulted. She says they were drinking beer and that Judge and Kavanaugh were “stumbling drunk.” She also notes that it appeared to be a smaller get-together that took place ahead of a larger party.

All of these descriptors roughly match up with Kavanaugh’s own testimony regarding that July 1 evening, when he grabbed beers with a select group of friends. There are some key differences: Neither Keyser and Ford are named in the calendar entry, for example. Judge, Smyth, and Keyser have also said they don’t recall the event that Ford has detailed.

But the resemblance is broadly notable.

The overlaps are something Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) seized on during a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting on Friday. Whitehouse argued that this event on the calendar could be key corroborating evidence for Ford’s account, given the parallels between the two:

Here are all those three named boys and others at a house together just as she said. She said Kavanaugh and Judge were drunk and that she had a beer. They were drinking. Just as she said. I will concede that the two girls aren’t mentioned.

The timing of a July 1 gathering also coincides with a different piece of Ford’s testimony. During the hearing on Thursday, Ford said that she ran into Judge while he was working at a Safeway grocery store about six to eight weeks after the gathering where she says experienced the assault. Ford has said that Judge was in the room intermittently, encouraging Kavanaugh while she was assaulted. Judge has said he’s never seen Kavanaugh behave in this way.

“I was going to the Potomac Village Safeway, this is the one on the corner of Falls and River Road,” Ford said about the grocery store run-in. Judge, in his memoir Wasted: Tales of a Gen X Drunk, indicates that he did begin working at a grocery store as a bag boy the summer before his senior year of high school, which would have been 1982. According to a Washington Post analysis, the timing about his employment in the book suggests he could have, in fact, been at the store roughly six to eight weeks after July 1.

Democrats are using this to press for a delay and an FBI investigation

Whitehouse noted that the possible significance of this calendar entry was the exact reason Democrats were demanding an FBI investigation. He argued that professional investigators were needed to review evidence like this calendar, which could serve as additional corroboration for Ford.

Graham, a former prosecutor, has said that there isn’t enough evidence in Ford’s case to prompt an attorney to pursue these allegations — a point that Mitchell also reportedly hammered to Republicans on Thursday night. “As a prosecutor, you couldn’t get out of the batters’ box,” Graham said.

“That’s how you get out of Lindsey’s batters’ box,” said Whitehouse. “You investigate,”