Chris Garrett, the Brett Kavanaugh high school classmate who went by the nickname “Squi,” has denied possessing any information or knowledge that would be useful to vetting the claims of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.
On October 2, 2018, his lawyer informed Heavy that Garrett had spoken with the FBI. “Mr. Garrett has voluntarily cooperated with the FBI inquiry, and has completed his interview,” lawyer William M. Sullivan, Jr. wrote.
Garrett has popped up in several ways in the debate over the Kavanaugh accusations (he was mentioned in the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings into the allegations and his nickname appears in Kavanaugh’s calendar, for example). However, the middle school teacher from another state has tried to keep a low profile, not speaking to the news media beyond statements released by his lawyer.
Christopher C. Garrett signed a July 9, 2018 letter of support for Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination, identifying himself as a middle school teacher and debate coach in Georgia.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Chris Garrett Denies Having Useful Information to the Inquiry
On September 26, 2018, Garrett’s lawyer, William M. Sullivan, Jr., sent a letter to Chuck Grassley, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Dianne Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the committee. Contacted for comment by Heavy, Sullivan sent Heavy the letter and said he and Garrett would have no further comment. He wrote Grassley and Feinstein:
My name is William M. Sullivan, Jr. and I am a partner with the law firm of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP. I represent Christopher C. Garrett.
As I indicated in my September 21, 2018 public statement on behalf of Mr. Garrett, and consistent with Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s own recent statement, I write to express Mr. Garrett’s categorical denial of Edward Whelan’s baseless and irresponsible suggestions and insinuations that Mr. Garrett is somehow the subject of Dr. Ford’s allegations. In fact, Mr. Garrett has no knowledge or information relating to her claims.
I further note Mr. Whelan’s recently released statement of apology in which he acknowledges his “appalling and inexcusable mistake of judgment” in attempting to wrongfully implicate Mr. Garrett in connection with Dr. Ford’s allegations.
Neither I nor Mr. Garrett will be making any further statement regarding this matter.
Sullivan also asked that his September 21, 2018 statement, and the latter, be included in the Senate Judiciary Committee’s record.
The earlier statement, as disseminated on Pr Newswire, reads as follows:
Consistent with Dr. Ford’s own recent statement, Mr. Garrett categorically denies the baseless and irresponsible suggestions and insinuations that he is somehow the subject of Dr. Ford’s allegations. In fact, he has no knowledge or information relating to her claims.
Mr. Garrett will not be making any further statements regarding this matter.
Sullivan, Jr. is a partner at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP. According to the law firm’s website, Sullivan is a partner specializing in Corporate Investigations & White Collar Defense who is based in Washington D.C. and New York.
His biography says: “Bill Sullivan concentrates on corporate internal investigations, trial practice and white-collar criminal defense, as well as complex civil litigation, securities enforcement, antitrust cartel investigations and litigation, export control and other regulatory actions.”
Heavy has reviewed Garrett’s Facebook page. It contains family photos and little else that is publicly visible.
2. Chris Garrett Was Named on Twitter by Whelan, a GOP Lawyer, Who Later Apologized for the ‘Mistake’
The background context for the lawyer’s statement: Garrett had been the subject of an unsupported, unproven theory peddled on social media by Ed Whelan, a GOP lawyer, blogger, and think tank president who is friends with Kavanaugh and was involved in the nomination process.
Whelan – who was derided by many on Twitter for identifying Garrett without proving his claim, later apologized, writing, “I made an appalling and inexcusable mistake of judgment in posting the tweet thread in a way that identified Kavanaugh’s Georgetown Prep classmate. I take full responsibility for that mistake, and I deeply apologize for it. I realize that does not undo the mistake.” Whelan is now on leave.
Whelen spun a fantastical theory that was predicated on Garrett and Kavanaugh looking somewhat alike in high school.
Ford previously released a statement to The Washington Post, responding to Whelan’s claim. Ford said, referring to the man identified by Whelan (Garrett) and Kavanaugh, “I knew them both, and socialized with” Garrett. She told the Post she had visited the man named by Whelan in the hospital and added, “There is zero chance that I would confuse them.” The story did not name Garrett, however.
3. Christine Blasey Ford Testified That She ‘Went Out’ With Chris Garrett in High School, Although She Didn’t Use His Name
Christine Blasey Ford testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that she went out with Chris Garrett in high school. Although she did not use his name purposefully to protect his privacy, the context with Whelan made it clear that the man she was referring to was Chris Garrett.
“He was somebody who, we use the phrase ‘went out with,’ I wouldn’t say date, but went out with for a few months,” she said, “and after that we were distant friends and ran into each other periodically.”
Prosecutor Rachel Mitchell and Ford had an exchange about Chris Garrett during the hearing, although Ford did not use his name. However, she made it clear she was talking about the person Whelan identified, and that person was Chris Garrett.
MITCHELL: OK. You mentioned about some possible information, such as when Mark Judge worked at the supermarket. I want to ask you about someone else. You mentioned that there was a classmate who was really sort of the connection between you and Brett Kavanaugh. Who was this person?
FORD: I — I think that that case with Mr. Whelan, who was looking at my LinkedIn page and then trying to blame the person, I just don’t feel like it’s right for us to be talking about that.
MITCHELL: I’m not trying to blame anybody, I just want to know who the common friend that you and…
FORD: The person that Mr. Whelan was trying to say looked like Mr. Kavanaugh.
MITCHELL: … OK. How long did you know this person?
FORD: Maybe for a couple of months we socialized, but he also was a member of the same country club and I know his younger brother as well.
MITCHELL: OK. So a couple of months before this took place?
MITCHELL: OK. How would you characterize your relationship with him, both before and after this took place, this person?
FORD: He was somebody that, we use the phrase, I went out with — I wouldn’t say date — I went out with for a few months. That was how we termed it at the time. And after that we were distant friends and ran into each other periodically at Columbia Country Club, but I didn’t see him often.
FORD: But I saw his brother and him several times.
MITCHELL: Was this person the only common link between you and Mr. — Judge Kavanaugh?
FORD: He’s the only one that I would be able to name right now — that I would like to not name, but you know who I mean. And — but there are certainly other members of Columbia Country Club that were common friends or they were more acquaintances of mine and friends of Mr. Kavanaugh.
4. Christine Blasey Ford Said the Same Man Introduced Her to Brett Kavanaugh
Senator Patrick Leahy asked Ford whether she could have mistaken Kavanaugh for someone else. In that exchange, she revealed that the person she says was falsely blamed was the same pesron who introduced her to both Brett Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge. Ford has alleged that Kavanaugh and Judge were in the room when she says Kavanaugh groped her in the early 1980s without her consent. Kavanaugh denies the accusation, and Judge has said he never saw Kavanaugh act as described and doesn’t remember the party.
LEAHY: Now, how did you know Brett Kavanaugh and Mark Judge? And is it possible that you had mixed them up with somebody else?
FORD: No, it is not. And the person that was blamed for the incident is actually the person who introduced me to them originally. So he was a member of Columbia Country Club. And I don’t want to talk about him because I think it’s unfair, but he is the person that — that introduced me to them.
LEAHY: But you — you would not mix up somebody else with Brett Kavanaugh, is that correct?
You can read the full hearing transcript here.
5. Brett Kavanaugh Testified That Chris Garrett is ‘Squi’ in His Calendar
During his own testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Brett Kavanaugh testified that he kept extremely detailed calendars from his high school years, which he said was an activity he modeled on that of his father.
The word “Squi” appears on the calendars. One entry getting the most attention was dated on July 1, 1982, as U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat, held it aloft and questioned Kavanaugh about it.
Here’s what Kavanaugh said about Chris Garrett and Squi:
Prosecutor Rachel Mitchell asked, “The entry says, and I quote, go to ‘Timmy’s for skis with Judge, Tom, P.J. Bernie and … Squi?’”
Kavanaugh responded, “Squi. It’s a nickname.”
Mitchell, “To what does this refer, and to whom?”
Kavanaugh, “…It looks like we went over to Timmy’s. You want to know their last names, too? I’m happy to do it.”
Mitchell, “If you could just identify: Is ‘Judge’ Mark Judge?”
Kavanaugh, “It is. It’s Tim Gaudette, Mark Judge, Tom Kaine, P.J. Smyth, Bernie McCarthy, Chris Garrett.”
The New York Times listed Chris Garrett as a “Kavanaugh friend” in an article that outlined “Three Inconsistencies the F.B.I. Investigation Could Address.”
The Times published a page from Kavanaugh’s calendar, reporting that “On July 1, a Thursday, he noted plans to go to ‘Timmy’s for skis,’ slang for drinking beers, with three of the people Dr. Blasey said were at the gathering where she said the alleged assault occurred.”
The calendar entry states, “Go to Timmy’s for skis w/ Judge, Tom, PJ, Bernie, Squi.” The next day, July 2, the calendar indicates, “Go to beach with Squi for weekend.” The Times noted that Garrett “appears nearly a dozen times on Judge Kavanaugh’s summer calendar” but “has not made any public comments.”
Ford has said that the party in question was attended by Smyth, Judge, Kavanaugh, another boy she can’t recall, and a female friend of hers named Leland Keyser, who has also denied having any recollection of the party and who says she did not know Kavanaugh, although she has stated that she believes Ford. P.J. Smyth and Mark Judge have both released statements saying that they have no recollection of the party Ford describes. According to The Washington Post, Ford has said it’s possible more people were at the party, but she doesn’t remember.
Kane told CNN that the home was 11 miles away from the country club that Ford told The Washington Post the party was held near.
“I saw it published today that someone’s floating the notion that there was something on July 1 at Tim Gaudette’s house,” Kane told CNN, according to an account in The Weekly Standard. “Tim Gaudette lived in Rockville. It’s 11 miles away from Columbia Country Club. And it wasn’t a single-family home. It was a townhouse.” Kane told Weekly Standard he never remembered Ford attending a party at Tim Gaudette’s house and said it was at least 16 minutes from the country club.
According to The Weekly Standard, Kane said that “another one of his friends, Chris Garrett, briefly went out with her in high school.”
In her testimony, Ford said of the location where she alleges Kavanaugh groped her, “I would describe it as it’s somewhere between my house and the country club in that vicinity that’s shown in your picture. And the country club is about 20 — a 20-minute drive from my parents’ home.”