Mark Judge, who is said to have witnessed an alleged sexual assault by U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh decades ago, has retained Barbara “Biz” Van Gelder as his attorney as he denies ever witnessing the incident.
“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,” Judge, who was Kavanaugh’s friend and high school classmate at elite prep school Georgetown Prep, said in a letter to the Republican and Democratic heads of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“In fact, I have no memory of this alleged incident,” said Judge, adding he did “not recall” the party where Ford, now a California psychology professor and Kavanaugh’s accuser, said the incident took place. “More to the point, I never saw Brett act in the manner Dr. Ford describes.”
Judge’s statement—declining to speak further with the Senate Judiciary Committee—was sent on his behalf by Van Gelder, senior counsel at Cozen O’Connor and a top female litigator on Washington’s white-collar bar.
The Cozen O’Connor attorney, who was brought on in 2016 to join its criminal defense and internal investigations practice, is best known for representing former government officials who’ve become embroiled in high-profile scandals. She’s represented former General Services Administration official David Safavian for his role in the Jack Abramoff affair, as well as Lester Crawford, a former Food and Drug Administration commissioner caught in a scandal over illegal stocks.
Tuesday’s letter comes as Kavanaugh and Ford are expected to testify before the committee Monday. Kavanaugh has denied the accusation.
Ford had not formally responded to the senators’ request as of Friday afternoon. However, her attorney, Debra Katz of Washington, D.C., firm Katz, Marshall & Banks, has previously indicated Ford would speak.
In the lead-up to Monday’s dueling testimonies, Democratic senators have said a fair hearing would require testimony from Judge. Although the committee could subpoena him to testify, Republicans on the committee have maintained that Monday would only feature Kavanaugh and Ford.
Ford, in her description of the alleged sexual assault incident, has said Judge was in the room, laughing, as Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed and he groped her. Ford has said Judge jumped on the two, which allowed Ford to leave the room.
Correction: This story has been updated to reflect Van Gelder’s role when she joined the law firm.