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Monday, October 22, 2018

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters.

 

Conservative media defenders of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh attempted to make hay over the fact that Christine Blasey Ford, who says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were in high school, didn’t know who paid for a polygraph exam she took.

Prior to coming forward publicly, Ford underwent a polygraph exam in which she was questioned about her recollection of the assault. The exam concluded that her answers were “not indicative of deception.”

Rachel Mitchell, a prosecutor Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee hired to question Ford in their place at today’s hearing, asked Ford who paid for the exam. Ford said she didn’t know.

In an exchange later in the hearing, Ford’s attorneys said that they paid for the exam, “as is routine.”

There is nothing unusual about lawyers paying for their client’s polygraph test. It is the same process through which they, rather than the client, would typically select an expert witness for a legal proceeding and then later bill the client — or not bill the client if the legal work was being done on a pro bono basis, as it is in this instance.

Before the question of who paid for the polygraph was resolved, conservative media started arguing that it proved … something.

Conservatives also took issue with Ford saying she wasn’t sure if she took the polygraph exam the day of or the day after her grandmother’s funeral, as if that were a reflection of the truthfulness of her account:

Header image by Melissa Joskow / Media Matters