UPDATED: Former Scalia law clerk Ed Whelan says ‘compelling evidence’ including photos will blow Ford’s case wide open

It looks like the case brought against Judge Brett Kavanaugh just took another serious hit.  The Washington Post reported that Ed Whelan, a former clerk for the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and the president of conservative think tank the Ethics and Public Policy Center (EPPC), said “compelling evidence” which apparently includes photos and maps would exonerate Kavanaugh from allegations brought by Christine Blasey Ford.

According to the report:

…Amid the maneuvering, the nomination was roiled further late Thursday by incendiary tweets from a prominent Kavanaugh friend and supporter who publicly identified another high school classmate of Kavanaugh’s as Ford’s possible attacker.

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Ed Whelan, a former clerk to the late justice Antonin Scalia and president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, pointed to floor plans, online photographs and other information to suggest a location for the house party in suburban Maryland that Ford described. He also named and posted photographs of the classmate he suggested could be responsible.

Here’s part of the thread Whelan posted to Twitter:

“Who lived in this house?” Whelan asked. “Chris Garrett, a Georgetown Prep classmate, friend, and football teammate of Brett Kavanaugh’s.”

Whelan also noted that Garrett and Kavanaugh knew each other and even resembled each other:

“If you’re at a gathering of ‘four others’ in someone’s home, you’d ordinarily think that the four others include the host who lives in the home. And that host would be the person least likely to act like a guest and most likely to use private areas of the house,” Whelan said

“If the gathering was at Garrett’s house and Garrett was there, then one of the “four others” wasn’t there.” he added.

He concluded: “To be clear, I have no idea what, if anything, did or did not happen in that bedroom at the top of the stairs, and I therefore do not state, imply or insinuate that Garrett or anyone else committed the sexual assault that Ford alleges. Further, if Ford is now mistakenly remembering Garrett to be Kavanaugh, I offer no view whether that mistaken remembrance dates from the gathering or developed at some point in the intervening years.”

“Bottom line: I believe that a fair assessment of this evidence powerfully supports Judge Kavanaugh’s categorical denial.”

A post at Law and Crime added:

He said that Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) would “soon be apologizing” to Kavanaugh and that Kavanaugh’s “suffering […] will be shown to have been deeply unjust.”

It is notable that Whelan is opposed to the requested FBI investigation, opposed to a subpoena of alleged witness Mark Judge, and opposed to the delay of Monday’s planned hearing.

Whelan, by the way, admits being a long-time friend to Kavanaugh:

I’ll add here that I am grateful to count Brett Kavanaugh as a friend. I’ve known him for some 25 years and have worked with him both in the private sector and in government, including in the early years of the George W. Bush administration, when I was principal deputy in DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel and Kavanaugh worked in the White House. My high regard for him gives me additional motivation to refute the smears against him. But as you will see, my arguments stand on their own and do not depend on my personally attesting to his character.

Politico says that Whelan has told “at least three associates” he is “close to 100 percent” confident that what he asserts is true.

But, Law and Crime added, his statements have been met with some skepticism.

A post at NY Mag, for example, called his theory “bonkers” and “irresponsible,” citing right-of-center outlets:

Even right-wing outlets from Hot Air to the Washington Examiner dismissed the theory and said Whelan was wrong to identify the classmate. “It is inconceivable that this Whelan defense will help Kavanaugh in any way. In fact, it’s so nasty and desperate-seeming that it taints Kavanaugh, despite that fact that he might have had nothing to do with it,” wrote The American Conservative’s Rod Dreher.

However, it appears Republicans haven’t ruled out the mistaken identity defense entirely. Per the Post:

Kavanaugh and his allies have been privately discussing a defense that would not question whether an incident involving Ford happened, but instead would raise doubts that the attacker was Kavanaugh, according to a person familiar with the discussions.

Whelan concluded his Twitter thread by saying it’s unfortunate the classmate is being drawn into the controversy, and blames Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat who sat on Ford’s letter for some time, for his decision to tweet out the man’s name, photo, and former address.

Ford, the Post said, has also dismissed the theory.

“I knew them both, and socialized with” them, she said. “There is zero chance that I would confuse them.”

But excerpts from yearbooks at the time suggest just the opposite, given the lewd and drunken parties Ford and her classmates apparently engaged in.  According to excerpts in those books, it seems that getting drunk and passing out were rather commonplace back in the day.

Ford and her legal team, meanwhile, continue to dictate terms to the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding her testimony.

Update: It seems that Whelan has backtracked and pulled his thread since this report hit the Internet:

Hmmm…  More on this to come…

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