Will She? Won’t She?

K Yearbook

Under pressure, Republicans invited Professor Ford to testify this coming Monday. Yesterday, through her lawyer, she responded that an FBI investigation must precede her testimony.

Why did she give that response?

Two Alternative, but not Mutually Exclusive, Explanations

Explanation one: she is reluctant to testify in public and has put forward the demand for an FBI investigation as a flimsy excuse to let this cup pass from her lips. (Mika and Morning Joe are persuaded this is the real reason.)

Explanation two:  She thinks that a full investigation might provide corroborating evidence for her account.

As I said, as a matter of logic, it’s possible that both explanations might be valid.

I don’t know which is the true reason for the Professor’s reluctance to testify, so let’s focus instead on some things we can be more certain about.

What Do Republican Senators Want?

Do they want, (1) to reach a full and considered judgment about what happened at the party or (2) do they want to do the minimum necessary to say they “gave her a hearing”?

This question is not challenging, so let’s pose another, somewhat more interesting inquiry.

What Would You Do If You Actually Wanted to Get to the Bottom of the Matter–Not Just Try to Be Seen to be Fair

Put on your thinking caps, everybody. There were three people in the back room at the party. What you would want to do is find the witness, Mr. Mark Judge, and put him in a position where he has to testify to his recollection under penalty of perjury or violation of 18 U.S.C. Section 1001.*

That’s what you would do first, if you were actually interested in learning as much as you could about what really happened

* Section 1001 is the law that makes it a crime for you to lie to the government, but not for the government to lie to you. It provides in relevant part,

[W}hoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully—

(1) falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact;

(2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or

(3) makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry;

shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years …