Mitchell’s memo is devastating to Ford and the Democrats because it reveals inconsistencies and blank spots that seem to go beyond mere memory lapses. Even her account of recent events is problematic. Ford refuses to give the committee the notes from the therapy session where she supposedly first mentioned the assault which is suspicious, but she can’t remember if she showed those notes to the Washington Post. Her story about how she came forward with the allegations, and why, and when, is equally sketchy and obscure all of a sudden.
She claims not to remember quite a bit from the last three months. Either her memory is extraordinarily (and conveniently) bad, or she is deliberately concealing the truth. Both options would discredit her allegations from 36 years ago, but I think there is plenty of reason to believe the second option. Her memory might be poor, but it seems quite apparent that she is also lying about some aspects of this case.
Here is the most important potential lie: As Mitchell points out in her memo, Ford claims to not remember how she got home from the party after the alleged assault occurred. This detail is crucial because the house, she says, was near a country club and the country club was about a 20-minute drive from her home. That means someone must have picked her up and drove her home right after the incident. The testimony of such a person would be indispensable because they could describe Ford’s physical and emotional state at the time.
According to her allegation, she was a 15-year-old girl who had just been violently assaulted and, in her mind, almost killed. She fled the house fearing for her life. Then she got into someone’s car. That person would surely have noticed that Ford was in distress. The main reason why Juanita Broaddrick’s allegation against Bill Clinton is so believable and credible is that Broaddrick was found by her friends minutes after Clinton allegedly raped her. Those friends corroborated the account, confirming that they did indeed find Broaddrick “crying and in a state of shock” on the night in question.
Is it at all believable that a 15-year-old girl could pull herself together and present herself as totally fine mere moments after running out of a house to escape two drunken rapists? No, it’s not. We must logically conclude that someone witnessed Ford in a similar state of shock, or that nobody did because the incident never occurred. Ford claims she can’t remember who picked her up, yet she remembers hiding in the bathroom after the assault, and she remembers hearing the two boys laughing and talking as they left the room, and she remembers running down the stairs and leaving the house. She remembers the whole chain of events right before she opened the door to whoever’s car. And then what? Her memory goes completely blank precisely at that moment?
Well, that’s not exactly correct. She doesn’t remember the whole chain. Presumably she called someone before she left the house, which she also doesn’t remember. She doesn’t remember what must have been a rather panicked phone call and she doesn’t remember what had to have been the most uncomfortable car ride of her life. But she remembers that the house was sparsely furnished and she remembers precisely how many beers she consumed.
Her memory may indeed be spotty. It was a long time ago, after all. But it is interesting that key details which might corroborate her account just so happen to be completely blocked from her memory. You might call that suspicious. And besides, even if she doesn’t remember getting into someone’s car right after the assault, what about the person behind the wheel? But that’s not the whole story but her sudden case of memory loss,which leaked notes with her therapist have point to an extreme use of antidepressants (trimipramine), the question is why the depression? Could it be caused by a threat to her life? And why the overdose? She is hiding the truth and trying to use benzodiazepines to get over the trauma.