On September 27, 2018, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testified before the US Senate Judiciary Committee about her memory of an alleged sexual misconduct, which occurred in 1982, by someone she remembered to be the SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
This is not a question about the misconduct, her credibility, or the quality of her memory. So, please, don't jump to answer it as if it were. The question is exclusively about her lawyers' role in that testimony.
Here's a few facts related to her travel to testify:
- It came out during the testimony that she traveled to the destination of the testimony by air.
- She testified that she did not know that there was an offer for the Senate committee to come to hear her story in California (her state of residence).
- It's been widely reported that her testimony was delayed by 4 days to a week because her lawyers indicated that she was afraid to fly. This delay produced a one-week delay in the confirmation process of a SCOTUS judge.
- During the testimony she characterized this miscommunication, and the delay, as a misunderstanding.
- Her lawyers tried to shut down this line of inquiry as protected by attorney-client privilege because it was related to what her lawyers told her of what was told to them by the Senate functionaries responsible for arranging the testimony.
My question is in what legal jeopardy would the lawyers be if Dr. Ford were given a transactional immunity. Since the attorney-client privilege is with the client, it does not spread to the lawyers if the client is immunized, or does it? If it turned out that they misled the client (deliberately or not) about the Senate's offer to expedite the testimony, this would have been an act of obstructing a nomination of a SCOTUS judge. Should this result in a delay in the confirmation (assuming the confirmation does go through), this delay may result in judge Kavanaugh not being one of the presiding judges on one of the cases heard by the SCOTUS. Would this not be an obstruction of justice (quite literally)?
And while Dr. Blasey Ford characterized this as a misunderstanding, this is her view on the facts. But if this results in an indictment, wouldn't the judgement of how to view the facts be with the jury (rather than Dr. Ford -- a witness)? She would be an immunized witness compelled to testify, would she not?