Kavanaugh accuser’s classmates send letter of support to Congress

The fast-developing story has set Kavanaugh's nomination on an uncertain course, just days ahead of a scheduled committee vote. Researchgate.net and AFP/Getty Images

Twenty-four women who attended the Holton-Arms School with Christine Blasey Ford have signed and sent a letter of support for her to Congress.

The letter says the women are writing to attest to the “honesty, integrity, and intelligence” of Ford, who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her decades ago, and to support Ford “bringing this matter forward.”

The women write that her decision to share her experience now is “not a partisan act” but an “act of civic duty.”

Ford is the author of a private letter sent to Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California alleging that, at a party during their high school years, Kavanaugh pushed her into a bedroom, tried to remove her clothes and put his hand over her mouth when she tried to scream. Kavanaugh has said in a statement that he “unequivocally” denies the accusation.

After her allegations surfaced over the past week, Ford opted to come forward publicly in an article The Washington Post published Sunday.

The letter says that “as sexual assault violates a woman’s most fundamental rights, it must be considered a failure of character at any age.”

Samantha Semerad Guerry, a classmate of Ford’s who signed the letter, said the idea to write it came from their Holton-Arms class of 1984 alumnae email chain. Ford graduated from Holton in 1984.

Semerad Guerry met Ford in the seventh grade when Ford started attending Holton-Arms. She has known Ford since then, although she described Ford as a “friend” from high school, not a best friend. They have kept in loose contact, she said.

Semerad Guerry described Ford as “constantly cheerful” in high school. Ford was someone who “got along with everyone” and was active in and outside of school. Ford was a cheerleader and a member of a summer swim and dive team, according to Semerad Guerry.

“I would be surprised to hear if anybody had anything bad to say about Chrissy,” Semerad Guerry said, using a nickname for Ford.

Former classmate Jenny Yerrick Martin said she knew Ford from seventh to ninth grades when they both attended Holton.

“From my experience and knowledge of Christine when I attended middle school with her, I am 100 percent confident that what she is saying is accurate and truthful,” Martin said.

The letter says the women “represent all political parties.”

“We aren’t doing this for political reasons. We are standing with her regardless of what our political background is because we see this as a nonpartisan issue,” Semerad Guerry said. “For us, this is about women being taken seriously when they have to share a traumatic experience from their past.”

The letter says that “we hold our elected officials responsible for conducting a more thorough and comprehensive review of the Supreme Court nominee.”

The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a public hearing for next Monday to address the new allegations against Kavanaugh, but Republican sources say it’s uncertain the hearing will occur.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa said Tuesday morning that he had yet to hear back from Ford. Grassley told Hugh Hewitt on his radio show that Ford has not accepted his request to appear before the committee.