Former CIA Director John Brennan assures us that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, is “a national treasure.” And his former colleague, James Comey, has urged investigators to “dig deeper.”
So begin at the beginning of her Senate Judiciary Committee testimony:
“I had never told the details to anyone until May 2012, during a couple’s counseling session. The reason this came up in counseling is that my husband and I had completed a very extensive, very long remodel of our home and I insisted on a second front door, an idea that he and others disagreed with and could not understand.
In explaining why I wanted a second front door, I began to describe the assault in detail.”
Under questioning from Sen. Diane Feinstein, Ford described an agonizing after-effect of the alleged Kavanaugh attack that caused her to demand that second door:
“Anxiety, phobia and PTSD-like symptoms are the types of things that I’ve been coping with,” Ford said. “More specially, claustrophobia, panic and that type of thing.”
FEINSTEIN: “Is that the reason for the second front door? Claustrophobia?”
The trade-off, apparently, was evident in Ford’s statement that “our house does not look aesthetically pleasing from the curb.” From the view on Google Earth, or Redfin, one can’t see the second door easily and the house appears no uglier “from the curb” than it ever did, if it did. But a glance at the real estate databases about Ford’s house are instructive.
The Fords bought the house on June 20, 2007. And the “very extensive, very long remodel,” including the second front door, were completed under a building permit granted in 2008.
So a natural question is why, four years after the remodeling, which also added two rooms and a bathroom, is the installation of that second door still such a bone of contention between the couple that it was an issue in the counseling they were undergoing in May 2012?
One key may be Ford’s continuing testimony to Feinstein, after describing the aesthetic difficulties “from the curb.”
FEINSTEIN: “I see. And do you have that second front door?”
FORD: “It – it now is a place to host Google interns. Because we live near Google, so we get to have – other students can live there.”
Now that she mentions it, the additional remodeling in effect added a self-contained unit to the house, with its own entrance, perfect for “hosting” or even possibly renting, in violation of the local zoning. Perhaps a professional office might be a perfect use, if an illegal one. And in the tight Palo Alto real estate market, there are a lot of games played for some serious income.
Because since 1993, and through some listings even today, there was another tenant at what is now the Ford property. It is listed as this person’s residence from 1993 to July 2007, a week or so after she sold the house to the Fords.
Her name is Dr. Sylvia Randall, and she listed this address for her California licensed practice of psychotherapy, including couples psychotherapy, until her move to Oregon in 2007.
Currently she only practices in that state, where she also pursues her new career as a talented artist as well.
But many existing directories still have Dr. Randall’s address listed at what is now the Ford residence.
Why has Christine Ford never said a word about Dr. Randall? And why has she been evasive about the transcripts of her crucial 2012 therapy session, which she can’t seem to recall much about either? Did she provide them to the Washington Post, or did she just provide the therapist’s summary? Who was the psychologist?
In a phone call, I asked Dr. Randall if she had sold her house to the Fords. She asked back how I had found out. I asked if she was the couples therapist who treated the Fords. She would not answer yes or no, replying, “I am a couples therapist.”
So was the second door an escape for Christine Blasey Ford’s terrors or was documenting her terrors a ruse for sneaking a rental unit through tough local zoning ordinances? And if the second door allowed access and egress for the tenant of a second housing unit, rather than for the primary resident, how did the door’s existence ameliorate Ford’s professed claustrophobia?
None of this means that her charges against Kavanaugh might not be perfectly valid, but her explanation for the “second door” looks like it could use more investigation. At the very least it appears to be a far more complicated element of Ford’s credibility than it originally appeared.