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Set back for Ford as fourth friend named as being at the party DENIES knowing Kavanaugh

A fourth member of the group Dr Christine Blasey Ford claimed to be with at the party where she was allegedly assaulted by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has denied any knowledge of the attack.

On Saturday night, Leland Ingham Keyser, who CNN describes as a ‘lifelong friend’ of Ford, issued a statement denying any recollection of the party itself or Kavanaugh.

‘Simply put, Ms Keyser does not know Mr Kavanaugh and she has no recollection of ever being at a party or gathering where he was present, with, or without, Dr Ford,’ her attorney, Howard J. Walsh, said in a statement sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Keyser separately clarified to the Washington Post she believes Ford, but does not have any personal knowledge of the assault.

Christine Blasey Ford (pictured) has alleged Brett Kavanaugh, who has been nominated as a justice of the Supreme Court, sexually assaulted her while the pair were high school students

Christine Blasey (now Ford) in the 1984 Holton-Arms Yearbook

Brett Kavanaugh in his high school yearbook

Christine Blasey (now Ford)  says Kavanaugh pulled her into a bedroom, held her down, put a hand over her mouth and tried to rip her swimsuit off. The pair are pictured in their high school yearbooks

Three other people, two of whom are Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge, have also denied any knowledge of the alleged assault.

The third, Patrick J Smyth, issued a statement on Wednesday denying any knowledge of the party, and going on to praise Kavanaugh as a ‘person of great integrity’. 

‘I am issuing this statement today to make it clear to all involved that I have no knowledge of the party in question; nor do I have any knowledge of the allegations of improper conduct she has leveled against Brett Kavanaugh,’ Smyth declared.

‘Personally speaking, I have known Brett Kavanaugh since high school and I know him to be a person of great integrity, a great friend, and I have never witnessed any improper conduct by Brett Kavanaugh towards women. 

‘To safeguard my own privacy and anonymity, I respectfully request that the Committee accept this statement in response to any inquiry the Committee may have.’ 

Mark Judge has denied any recollection of the event, issuing a statement through his lawyer, Barbara Van Gelder. 

‘Brett Kavanaugh and I were friends in high school but I do not recall the party described in Dr. Ford’s letter. More to the point, I never saw Brett act in the manner Dr. Ford describes,’ it read.   

In a statement, Patrick J Smyth denied knowledge of any sexual assault and praised the SCOTUS nominee's 'great integrity'

Mark Judge, who was reportedly in the room when Ford was assaulted, has denied any recollection of the incident

Patrick J Smyth (left) and Mark Judge (right) have both denied any knowledge of the sexual assault. In a statement, Smyth denied knowledge and praised the SCOTUS nominee’s ‘great integrity’. Judge, who was reportedly in the room when Ford was assaulted, has denied any recollection of the incident 

While the denials may signal good news for Kavanaugh, who is in the midst of congressional hearings to find out if he will be appointed to the Supreme Court bench, Ford’s lawyer has said she wouldn’t expect Keyser to remember the incident.

Debra Katz told CNN her client took decades to share her allegations with her husband, and even longer to share them publicly.  

‘It’s not surprising Ms Keyser has no recollection of the evening as they did not discuss it,’ Katz said in a statement. 

‘It’s also unremarkable that Ms. Keyser does not remember attending a specific gathering 30 years ago at which nothing of consequence happened to her. 

‘Dr. Ford of course will never forget this gathering because of what happened to her there.’ 

Sources claim Kavanaugh has been practicing facing senators regarding the allegations by having aides question him from all angles.

Aides told the Washington Post the judge had been careful in his answers to avoid appearing like he was trying to discredit Ford, and had made sure he vocally spoke against sexual assault.

Kavanaugh, who has been practicing for the congressional committee's line of questioning, will testify about the alleged assault on Thursday, as will Ford

Kavanaugh, who has been practicing for the congressional committee’s line of questioning, will testify about the alleged assault on Thursday, as will Ford

Kavanaugh reportedly grew angry though when questions became more personal, prying into his sexual preferences and alcohol consumption. 

He passed on multiple questions, labelling them ‘too personal’, but a senior White House official claimed he had struck the right note, suggesting his appearance will be carefully orchestrated to present a likable, clean version of himself. 

While Kavanaugh is eager to testify and clear his name, an associate told the Post he is becoming ‘incredibly frustrated’ by continued stories about his family. 

Ford’s complaint centers around an incident that took place at a high school party in the 1980s, where she alleges Kavanaugh and Judge, his friend, followed her upstairs when she went to the bathroom and pushed her into a bedroom. 

There, she alleges the Supreme Court nominee held her down, covered her mouth, groped her and tried to rip off her swimsuit .

‘I thought he might inadvertently kill me,’ she told the Washington Post.

Her escape came only when Judge, who was in the room with them, jumped on top of the pair, she says.

Kavanaugh denies the allegations and has said he would testify to clear his name. 

Ford and Kavanaugh are expected to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.