One of the most powerful things about Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony about Brett Kavanaugh is what she said she didn’t remember. Her careful corrections to the record of her sexual assault allegation, her psychologist’s precision in describing her memory of the event and its aftereffects, and her repeated wish she could be more be helpful all stand in stark contrast to Kavanaugh’s professed certainty that nothing happened, in spite of reports that he drank to the point of not remembering things.

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What Ford doesn’t remember throws what she does remember into sharp, heartbreaking relief. Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy asked Dr. Ford, “What is the strongest memory you have? Strongest memory of the incident? Something that you cannot forget?” He prompted Ford to take as much time as she needed, but she responded immediately.

Ford: Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter. The uproarious laughter between the two and having fun at my expense.

Leahy: You have never forgotten that laughter, forgotten them laughing at you.

Ford: They were laughing with each other.

Leahy: And you were the object of the laughter?

Ford: I was underneath one of them while the two laughed. Two friends having a really good time with one another.

What would you give to not remember teenage boys laughing at you?

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