- Mark Judge has become a focal point of Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on her allegation of sexual assault against Brett Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court nominee.
- Ford, now a professor in California, said Judge was in the room when Kavanaugh forced himself on her and groped her at a high-school party when they were teenagers.
- She accused Judge of standing by and aiding Kavanaugh.
- There are growing calls for Judge to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Mark Judge, the friend of Brett Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court nominee, became a focal point of Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, leading to growing calls for him to testify before the body.
Ford, now a professor in California, said Judge was in the room when Kavanaugh forced himself on her and groped her at a high-school party when they were teenagers in 1982. She accused Judge of standing by and aiding Kavanaugh.
Asked by Sen. Patrick Leahy to describe a detail she “cannot forget,” Ford recalled how she felt she was the object of the boys’ laughter.
“Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter, the uproarious laughter between the two, and they’re having fun at my expense,” she said, adding, “I was underneath one of them while the two laughed – two friends having a really good time with one another.”
In her prepared written testimony, Ford said that “both Brett and Mark were drunkenly laughing during the attack.”
“They both seemed to be having a good time,” she said, adding, “A couple of times I made eye contact with Mark and thought he might try to help me, but he did not.”
Christine Blasey Ford on what she hasn't forgotten from the night of the alleged assault: "The laughter. The uproarious laughter. And the multiple attempts to escape." pic.twitter.com/l0otG22qRw
— Axios (@axios) September 27, 2018
Ford said the only reason she was able to escape was that Judge eventually jumped on the bed with her and Kavanaugh, toppling the group and giving her an opportunity to exit the room.
Kavanaugh and Judge have both denied Ford’s allegations.
Senate Democrats want Judge to testify
Since the California professor came forward, Democrats have called for Judge to testify alongside Ford and Kavanaugh. Those calls increased on Thursday.
“We believe Judge should be subpoenaed so the committee can hear from him directly,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the committee’s ranking Democrat.
Judge has declined to speak publicly on the matter, as well as an allegation of sexual misconduct from another woman, Julie Swetnick. He was spotted by a reporter earlier this week at a friend’s house in Bethany Beach, Delaware.
“Mark Judge should be subpoenaed from his Bethany Beach hideaway,” Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin said on Thursday.
Sen. Dick Durbin calls for Mark Judge — the other individual who Christine Blasey Ford claims was in the room during the alleged assault — to be subpoenaed: "Mark Judge should be subpoenaed from his Bethany Beach hideaway and required to testify under oath, but he has not." pic.twitter.com/daPPQSObFh
— CNN (@CNN) September 27, 2018
Judge became central to Ford’s testimony. Ford said she saw Judge at a Safeway supermarket in suburban Maryland “six to eight weeks” after the alleged assault and that he “looked a little bit ill.”
“Mark Judge looked like he was working there and arranging the shopping carts,” she said. “I said hello to him, and his face was white and very uncomfortable saying hello back. And we had previously been friendly at the times that we saw each other over the previous two years.”
Judge wrote in “Wasted: Tales of a Gen X Drunk,” his memoir about his struggles with alcoholism and his partying days as a student at Georgetown Preparatory School, that he worked as a “bag boy at the local supermarket” in the summer of 1982 to raise money for a football camp.
Ford has struggled to recall the exact date and location of the alleged assault, making her recollection of the encounter with Judge potentially significant.
Ford said she would like Judge to be interviewed about the allegations
Later in the hearing, Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal asked Ford if she would like Judge to “be interviewed in connection with the background investigation and the serious, credible allegations” she’s made.
Ford, who has called for the FBI to investigate her allegation, said it would be her “preference” but that she was “not sure it’s really up to me.”
“I certainly would feel like I could be more helpful to everyone if I knew the date that he worked at the Safeway so that I could give a more specific date of the assault,” she said.
"Would you like Mark Judge to be interviewed in connection with the background investigation and the serious, credible allegations that you've made?" asks @SenBlumenthal.
"That would be preference," Christine Blasey Ford says. "I'm not sure it's really up to me…" pic.twitter.com/M98KSmg4i8
— PBS NewsHour (@NewsHour) September 27, 2018
Judge has not responded to repeated requests for comment from Business Insider.
His attorney, Barbara Van Gelder, on Thursday told Business Insider she was not “commenting while the proceeding is ongoing.”
Kavanaugh dodged questions about Judge on Thursday
During his testimony on Thursday, Kavanaugh said he was never in a room with Judge and Ford at the same time.
"Have you ever been alone in a room with Dr. Ford and Mark Judge?" – Prosecutor Rachel Mitchell
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) September 27, 2018
When Sen. Leahy subsequently asked Kavanaugh if he’d like Judge to testify, Kavanaugh said, “[Judge] has provided sworn testimony.” The Supreme Court nominee did not give a “yes” or “no” answer on the question.
Judge provided a statement to the committee, which is what Kavanaugh was seemingly referencing.
Sen. Leahy then pushed back, noting the allegation hasn’t been investigated by the FBI and Judge “hasn’t been called to testify under oath.”
Asked if Mark Judge should be called as a witness to testify before the committee, Judge Kavanaugh does not provide a yes or no answer, but notes that Mark Judge has provided a statement to the committee. pic.twitter.com/pxtdJ2FXg2
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) September 27, 2018
Kavanaugh seemed uncomfortable when questioned about Judge, and told Leahy he didn’t know if a character in Judge’s book named “Bart O’Kavanaugh” was based off of him.
“You’d have to ask him,” Kavanaugh said.
“Well, I agree with you there,” Sen. Leahy then said. “And that’s why I wished that the Chairman had him here under oath.”
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.