Brett Kavanaugh's high school friend, Mark Judge, says he faced 'extortion' during Supreme Court nomination

 March 28, 2024

Brett Kavanaugh's high school friend Mark Judge said he was "extorted" and pressured with threats to back up the sexual assault allegations that nearly derailed Kavanaugh's 2018 Supreme Court confirmation.

Judge, a journalist and author, told Fox News that he resisted pressure to back up the account given by Christine Blasey Ford, who claimed she was raped by Kavanaugh at a high school party in the 1980s.

Mark Judge details "extortion" attempt

Ford had claimed that Judge was a direct witness of the alleged assault and that it stopped when Judge jumped on the bed.

If Judge would just say that he saw Kavanaugh assault Ford, Judge would be remembered as a "hero," he was told.

"Several people said, ‘Yeah, you jumped on the bed and broke things up. You prevented this. You’re the hero here. You say that and you’re home free,'” Judge told Martha MacCallum.

“I had journalists who I had been friends with sending me emails: ‘Do it, Mark. Do it for humanity. Lie about this for humanity.'”

In addition to being coaxed with promises of glory, Judge said he received an anonymous threat for refusing to go along with Ford's story.

"They were brilliant enough to leave a message: ‘You like effing with people, Mark. I like effing with people, too. You better change your story,” he said.

Kavanaugh circus revisited

A high school friend of Ford's, Leland Keyser, also said she had no recollection of the party, but later tweaked her statement to say she "believed" Ford under pressure from her friends.

Ford's uncorroborated account lit a political firestorm, with both Kavanaugh and Ford sharing dramatic testimony on Capitol Hill.

Kavanaugh vehemently defended his honor as his high school years were dissected by Democratic senators who asked questions about his drinking habits.

Judge said Democrats made him a target because of his past struggles with alcoholism, which Judge detailed in the book Wasted: Tales of a Gen X Drunk. 

“They thought, ‘Okay, if we can get Mark Judge involved in this, we can sink Kavanaugh. But we have to get Mark Judge involved in this,'” Judge told MacCallum.

Credibility damaged

The hazy details of Ford's story raised doubts in many minds, but her credibility was severely damaged by contemporaneous claims from another woman, Julie Swetnick, who said Judge and Kavanaugh drugged girls and "gang raped" them.

Judge said he believes Ford had looked him up before naming him in her initial letter, which referred to him by an obscure pen name.

"Mark G. judge is a byline I used as a journalist when I was younger. Nobody calls me Mark G. Judge, they call me Mark Judge, unless you have researched my past and you found that," he said.

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