Reasonable Doubt? Republicans Throw Chris Garrett Into The Fray

 

September 21, 2018 by Jonathan Turley

 

The unfolding drama over the allegations of Christine Blasey Ford just got even more bizarre as Ed Whelan, president of the conservative Ethics and Public Center (EPPC) released the picture of a remarkably similar looking teenager who could have been the culprit in the alleged attempted rape. While Ford insists that she could not be mistaken, the release of the photo adds a new element to the hearing . . .  and could raise some interesting legal issues after suggesting Chris Garrett (right) could be responsible for the attack.

On Thursday afternoon, Whelan released the pictures and suggested that the  “Maryland suburban home” might have been Garrett’s, which is also “not too far from the Columbia Country Club.” This advanced the best possible approach for the GOP in the upcoming hearing: that Ford could be telling the truth about the attack but could be mistaken about the attacker.

As shown below, Whelan is clearly implicating Garrett as a Georgetown Prep classmate, friend, and football teammate of Brett Kavanaugh’s.

That of course could be viewed by Garrett as the basis for a defamation or false light tort.  This is an allegation of criminal conduct.  Criminal conduct has long been recognized as a per se category of slander under common law torts as well as such categories as moral turpitude and unchastity or impugning professional reputation.

Garrett is not a public figure so he does not fall under the more generous standard (for accusers) of the actual malice test, requiring a showing of knowing falsity or reckless disregard of the truth.  Of course Whelan can argue that he is merely showing how easy it is to confuse things and people 36 years ago. Yet, the import seems more incriminating in the posts below.

Yet, Whelan added “To be clear, I have no idea what, if anything, did or did not happen in that bedroom at the top of the stairs, and I therefore do not state, imply or insinuate that Garrett or anyone else committed the sexual assault that Ford alleges. Further, if Ford is now mistakenly remembering Garrett to be Kavanaugh, I offer no view whether that mistaken remembrance dates from the gathering or developed at some point in the intervening years.”

That may or may not be enough for Garrett who now finds himself in the middle of a maelstrom as a suspected attempted rapist.

 

https://jonathanturley.org/2018/09/21/reasonable-doubt-republicans-throw-chris-garrett-into-the-fray/


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