Leland Keyser told the FBI she felt pressured by other friends of Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford to adjust her initial statement to include the fact that she believed the allegations, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
Ms. Blasey Ford testified that her friend Ms. Keyser was of the handful of people at the party where she was allegedly groped by Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh in 1982. Ms. Keyser is the only other girl to be named at the party.
In a statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Ms. Keyser wrote that she had no memory of such an event. She then clarified in the press and a second statement that she believed Ms. Blasey Ford’s account.
An unnamed friend of the Hilton Arms alumni told The Journal that mutual friends, including Monica McLean, reached out to Ms. Keyser so she would clarify her statement. They reportedly told her that Republicans were using it to undermine Ms. Blasey Ford’s account, but the source wouldn’t characterize it as pressure.
The Journal also reported that the FBI sent additional information to the White House Thursday that included text messages from Ms. McLean and Ms. Keyser.
Ms. McLean refuted allegations earlier this week that Ms. Blasey Ford helped prep her for a polygraph test she had to take years ago.
David Laufman, Ms. McLean’s attorney, refuted the allegation to The Journal.
“Any notion or claim that Ms. McLean pressured Leland Keyser to alter Ms. Keyser’s account of what she recalled concerning the alleged incident between Dr. Ford and Brett Kavanaugh is absolutely false,” he said.
Ms. Keyser’s statement was highlighted by prosecutor Rachel Mitchell in the memo she sent to the Senate on Monday.
“Moreover, Dr. Ford testified that her friend Leland, apparently the only other girl at the party, did not follow up with Dr. Ford after the party to ask why she had suddenly disappeared,” Ms. Mitchell wrote.
During her testimony, Ms. Blasey Ford explained: “Leland has significant health challenges, and I’m happy that she’s focusing on herself and getting the health treatment that she needs.”
Judiciary Chairman Sen. Charles E. Grassley said Ms. Keyser may not have been the only one under pressure.
“There is evidence about other people that have been questioned that they’ve been led into it as well,” he said during an interview on Fox News. “This is another example of headquarters for the resistance being right here on Capitol Hill.”
The Journal reported that the FBI included details about how both camps of Judge Kavanaugh’s and his accusers’ allies worked to find friends to back their respective sides.
Kerry Berchem, a mutual friend of Judge Kavanaugh and Deborah Ramirez, reportedly submitted text messages to the FBI. They allegedly showed the Supreme Court nominee contacted Yale friends for support before Ms. Ramirez’ sexual misconduct allegations were published in the New Yorker.
The FBI launched its seventh background investigation into Judge Kavanaugh after Senate Democrats and a handful of undecided Republicans called for a probe into the sexual assault allegations against him. That report was delivered to the Senate on Thursday.