Amid her emotional testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, Christine Blasey Ford revealed a potentially pivotal detail that could shed light on the sexual assault allegations she has raised against Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
The Palo Alto University professor in a letter to lawmakers in July claimed 17-year-old Kavanaugh held her down on a bed, groped her and attempted to remove her clothes at get-together while his friend Mark Judge watched on. Ford has said she does not remember the specific timing of the incident, though she believes it occurred the summer of 1982.
Six to eight weeks after the alleged assault, Ford on Thursday recalled how she crossed paths with Judge at a Safeway grocery store in Maryland. He was working at the time, corralling and arranging shopping carts, she told the panel.
“I said hello to him and his face was white and very uncomfortable saying hello back,” she said, adding they’d been friends ahead of the incident.
“I wouldn’t characterize him as not friendly. He was just a little bit nervous and didn’t want to speak to me.”
After being repeatedly pressed by an outside prosecutor — hired by Republicans to question Kavanaugh and his accuser — on when exactly the alleged assault occurred, Ford again brought up the grocery store encounter.
“If I knew when Mark Judge worked at the Potomac Safeway, I could be more helpful in that way,” she said.
Perhaps “through employment records or the IRS or anything” investigators could figure out when he was employed by the grocery store chain, Ford offered in response to questions from Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.).
Passages in Judge’s book, “Wasted: Tales of a Gen X Drunk,” published in 1997, seem to line up with Ford’s version of events.
“It was the summer before senior year, and by now, even though I wasn’t drinking every day, I was completely hooked,” he wrote.
In a separate passage he wrote: “Of course, alcoholics get into all kind of trouble because of their drinking. When they supersede their own tolerance, suffer catastrophic hangovers. These can make getting though the day an Olympic event. This was never more evident to me than when, to raise money for football camp, I spent a few weeks working as a bag boy at the local supermarket.”
Safeway did not immediately respond to calls for comment.
Judge graduated from high school in 1983, making the summer before his senior year the summer of 1982. Based on the Kavanaugh’s calendar from the same summer, football camp kicked off Aug. 22.