The “lifelong best friend” of Christine Blasey Ford has been accused of pressuring Leland Keyser, another friend of Christine Ford’s, into changing her account of an alleged sexual assault by Brett Kavanaugh.
On October 5, the Wall Street Journal reported that Keyer had “felt pressured” by Ford’s allies into saying that she believed Ford’s account of the party where Kavanaugh allegedly assaulted her. Keyser told the FBI that McLean had urged her to revise her orignial testimony, in which she had said that she knew nothing about the attack. The FBI reportedly sent the Senate a package of information which included copies of text messages between McLean and Keyser. McLean’s lawyer has deniced that McLean ever pressured Keyser. You can read the Wall Street Journal article here.
Separately, McLean has denied that Ford ever coached her on how to take a polygraph exam while applying for Department of Justice jobs. Monica McLean came forward Wednesday and said in a statement, “I have NEVER had Christine Blasey Ford, or anybody else, prepare me, or provide any other type of assistance whatsoever in connection with any polygraph exam I have taken at anytime.” Ford, a psychology professor, has accused Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault and passed a polygraph exam about her allegations in August.
The statement from McLean, a retired FBI agent, came after Senator Chuck Grassley, the Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee sent Ford a letter asking her to turn over material evidence relating to her charges against Kavanaugh. The letter also made a fresh allegation about Christine Ford. Grassley said that the senators had heard testimony from an ex-boyfriend of Ford’s who claimed he had seen Ford coach someone on how to take a polygraph test. Grassley said, if that’s true, it might mean that Christine Ford’s own polygraph test is unreliable.
Later on Tuesday, Fox News obtained the testimony that Ford’s ex-boyfriend gave to the Senate. His statement said that Ford had used her experience in psychology to coach McLean, on how to take a polygraph exam. You can read the letter from Ford’s ex-boyfriend, who has not been identified, here.
Here’s what you need to know about Monica McLean:
1. She Went to Holton Arms, the Same High School as Ford
On September 17, a group of women from Christine Ford’s alma mater sent a letter to Congress to express their support for Ford and their opposition to Kavanaugh. The 17 women who signed the letter were all from Ford’s graduating class; they had all known her well.
Monica McLean is one of the 17 women who signed the letter. You can read the full text of the letter here.
In part, the letter reads, “We, of the Holton Arms Class of 1984, are writing on behalf of our friend and classmate, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, to attest to her honesty, integrity, and intelligence; and to contend that her decision to provide information pertaining to a sexual assault is not a partisan act. It is an act of civic duty and the experience she described in her letter needs to be seriously considered. We represent all political parties and we support Christine bringing this matter forward.”
2. Ford Is Accused of Coaching McLean While She Was Interviewing for Jobs with the FBI & the US Attorney’s Office, but McLean Denies It
Ford’s ex-boyfriend — whose name has not been made public yet — told the Senate Judiciary Committee that he saw Ford coaching McLean on how to take a polygraph. He said McLean was getting ready to interview for jobs with the FBI and the US Attorney’s office — the kinds of jobs that require people to take a polygraph test. Like many people, McLean was apparently nervous about taking that kind of test. Ford’s ex-boyfriend says that Ford used her background in psychology to help prepare her friend.
The ex-boyfriend’s statement said, “During some of the time we were dating, Dr. Ford lived with Monica McLean, who I understood to be her life-long best friend. During that time, it was my understanding that McLean was preparing was interviewing for jobs with the FBI and the US Attorney’s Office. I witnessed Dr Ford help McLean prepare for a potential polygraph exam. Dor. Ford explained in detail what to expect, how polygraphs worked and helped McLean become familiar and less nervous about the exam. Dr. Ford was able to help because of her background in psychology.”
McLean issued a statement Wednesday denying that Christine Ford, or anyone, had ever helped her prepare for a polygraph exam.
3. McLean Worked for the Department of Justice for 24 Years, Leaving Just Before Trump Took Office
McLean spent 24 years working for the Department of Justice, including as an FBI special agent. During her time in the FBI, McLean served as a spokesperson for the FBI’s New York field office, according to a 2009 CNN report.
McLean left her job quite suddenly in 2016 — just when President Trump was taking office.
McLean apparently is an old friend of Christine Ford’s; one of Ford’s ex-boyfriends has said that Ford helped to prepare McLean to take a polygraph exam, back in the 90s when McLean was trying to get a job working for the federal government.
4. A Man Named Geral Sosbee Says McLean Helped the FBI in a Bizarre Cover-Up
McLean’s name is featured on some shadowy websites run by a man named Geral Sosbee. Sosbee says that he is a former FBI agent who started working for the agency in the late 1970s. He claims that he was later investigated by the FBI and the CIA; his sites also make dark and incoherent references to “death squads”. He says that McLean helped the FBI to cover up the alleged investigation against him.
You can read some of his claims — as well as a declaration which he says was made by Monica McLean — here. The declaration is dated June 2000. It’s difficult to know the truth of this matter, since it seems that only Sosbee has written about the case.
5. McLean Now Works as an Independent Consultant in Washington DC
McLean stepped down from the Department of Justice in 2016. In 2017, she went to work as an independent consultant.
She is based in Washington, DC.