Dr. Christine Blasey Ford referenced a man named “P.J.” several times during her hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Who is the man named P.J.?
At one point, Blasey Ford stated that PJ was one of the people at the party, but she clarified that he was not a “bystander” as she previously indicated. “I would not call him a bystander. He was downstairs. He was a tall and very nice person… He was downstairs and not anywhere near the event,” Dr. Ford told Rachel Mitchell, the Arizona sex crimes prosecutor chosen by GOP Senators to question Ford.
A man named Patrick J. Smyth, a former high school classmate of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, previously revealed in a statement that he believes he is the man named PJ. However, he has denied any knowledge of the alleged party where Christine Blasey Ford says Kavanaugh attempted to sexually assault her in the 1980s, according to CNN.
Here’s what you need to know:
PJ – or Patrick Smyth – Says He Never Witnessed Improper Conduct From Kavanaugh to Women
Smyth, in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee sent by his attorney and obtained by CNN, denied having knowledge of any such party, claiming that Ford has identified him as being there, and saying, “I have never witnessed any improper conduct by Brett Kavanaugh towards women.” Instead, the letter from Smyth’s attorney praises Kavanaugh, saying that he knows “him to be a person of great integrity, a great friend.”
All involved were in high school at the time. Kavanaugh, Donald Trump’s nominee to the court, has adamantly denied the accusation by Ford, a registered Democrat who is a professor and researcher at Palo Alto University in California. Mark Judge, a Washington D.C.-based writer, previously outed himself as the Kavanaugh classmate whom Ford accuses of actually being in the room when she says Kavanaugh groped her and put his hand over her mouth before she escaped. She did not accuse Smyth of being in the room during the alleged attempted assault; his letter says she says he was at the party.
Kavanaugh adamantly denies the 36-year-old accusations. Judge has denied the accusations as well, with his lawyer telling the Senate Judiciary Committee that he doesn’t remember the alleged party and never saw Kavanaugh act the way that Ford has described. A third person – a woman – named by Ford as being at the party also has said she has no knowledge of it.
Smyth’s Letter Indicates He Believes That Christine Ford Has Identified Him as Allegedly Being at the Party
Smyth’s lawyer has sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee that says Smyth believes he is a person named “PJ” whom Ford has alleged was also present at the party. Smyth and Kavanaugh both graduated from Georgetown Prep in Bethesda, Maryland in 1983, according to an alumni document that lists both of them as contributing to the school’s annual fund. (A social media post from a relative does refer to Smyth as “PJ.”)
“I understand that I have been identified by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford as the person she remembers as ‘PJ’ who supposedly was present at the party she described in her statements to the Washington Post,” Smyth says in the letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, according to CNN. “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.”
CNN reports that the letter continues, “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.”
Patrick Smyth Is Managing Director at a Major Company
In July, Patrick Smyth was a signatory on a letter of Georgetown Preparatory alumni who praised Brett Kavanaugh to the Senate Judiciary Committee. That letter identifies him as:
“Patrick J. Smyth
Managing Director, PwC
The LinkedIn page for the Patrick J. Smyth holding that position says, “Patrick is a Managing Director in the CFO Finance Transformation Advisory practice with over 25 years of insurance and investment management industry experience. He has held management roles in both operations and finance within a Fortune 100 organization.”
His LinkedIn page says he’s held the PwC position for more than 11 years. Before that, he held the following positions, according to LinkedIn:
Company Name The Meltzer Group
Dates Employed 2006 – 2007
Employment Duration 1 yr
Location Bethesda, MD
Company Name Montgomery Insurance
Dates Employed 2002 – 2006
Employment Duration 4 yrs
Location Columbia, MD
Liberty Mutual Insurance
Director – Mergers and Acquisitions
Company Name Liberty Mutual Insurance
Dates Employed 1996 – 2001
Employment Duration 5 yrs
Location Boston, MA
The page says he has a BS degree from Boston College in finance and an MBA from Boston University Graduate School of Management.
The July 9, 2018 letter, which came before the allegations were publicly known, opens by saying, “We represent a broad spectrum of achievements, vocations, political beliefs, family histories and personal lifestyles. We unite in our common belief that Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh is a good man, a brilliant jurist, and is eminently qualified to serve as an Associate Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.” The letter describes Kavanaugh as a team captain, multi-sport athlete, and active participant in the school body. Smyth was one of multiple signatories. You can read the letter here.
Barbara Van Gelder, the lawyer for Mark Judge, wrote a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which said Mark Judge doesn’t want to testify. The letter explains that Judge has nothing to offer the committee because he can’t remember the party in question and never saw Kavanaugh act as described. It reads:
I did not ask to be involved in this matter nor did anyone ask me to be involved. The only reason I am involved is because Dr. Christine Blasey Ford remembers me as the other person in the room during the alleged assault.
In fact, I have no memory of this alleged incident. 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.
I have no more information to offer the Committee and I do not wish to speak publicly regarding the incidents described in Dr. Ford’s letter.
Here is Judge’s letter:
Judge is a D.C. writer who has written extensively about his high school years, including the alcohol-fueled partying culture.
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