Sorensen goes off the beaten track with lame protestations
Before the Florida school shooting flooded the airwaves, another big national story also involved dangerous allegiance to partisan ideology.
David Sorensen, a Trump administration official and former policy adviser to Maine Gov. Paul LePage, resigned abruptly following allegations of domestic violence by Jessica Corbett, his ex-wife.
A story broke in The Washington Post reporting allegations by Corbett that she was burned with a cigarette, thrown into a wall and had her hair pulled by Sorensen during their tumultuous marriage, among other things.
As The Post was reporting on Corbett’s allegations, Sorensen created a dossier in an attempt to turn the table and cast blame and shame on Corbett. Sorensen published the dossier on social media and took to the airwaves defending himself. The allegations were politically motivated, Sorensen wrote: “Jessica’s opposition to President Trump, his policies, and supporters is well-documented.”
Unlike Corbett, with whom I spoke and communicated electronically at length, Sorensen did not respond to my questions, not even the one about whether Corbett’s view of the president is relevant to whether or not she was assaulted.
One reason that a partisan speechwriter would include “opposition to President Trump” as evidence that his ex-wife is not trustworthy is fairly obvious. Casting the issue in political terms gains support from the group of activist Republican women who “inform” themselves in the Fox News echo chamber and are diehard Trump fans.
“David Sorensen’s Statement on Jessica Corbett and Her False Allegations” is a news release spun as a call to arms to the Ladies Brigade, conservative women who like the patriarchy and are looking for an excuse to believe Sorensen was the victim of domestic violence and is being victimized again by the unfair media.
To gin up support from the Republican Ladies Brigade – a lovely group of privileged white women with chunky jewelry and boiled wool – Sorensen included in his story of being beaten, falsely accused by a mentally deranged crackpot and convicted by a shameless media a shocking allegation that Corbett threw her five-diamond wedding ring into a snowbank.
Crazy, right? What more evidence do you need that Corbett has “absolutely no credibility, honesty or loyalty”?
Sorensen claims in his statement that “the true victim of domestic violence here has become a victim of today’s frightening new world of trial by media” and said in a radio interview that his goal is to bring out “the truth,” but despite his law degree and bloated career as a bureaucrat, his “case” is like Swiss cheese on a trap and the Ladies Brigade like mice.
For example, Sorensen published text messages that he said served as “evidence of Jessica’s poor character and willingness to sacrifice morals for personal gain and vindictiveness” – including one in which Corbett says to a lobbyist, “hope you’re well, happy 2018!”
If Sorensen and Corbett divorced in September 2017, why does he have access to Corbett’s messages in 2018? Corbett said she has no clue.
“This is the first I heard,” she said. “That scares me.”
As additional evidence of his alleged suffering, Sorensen also presents a photo of himself with “dried blood on lip from punch to the face” and a 5 o’clock shadow. Dried blood? At a real trial, the jury would get an answer to the obvious question: Was this photo taken long after an alleged beating by Corbett, or after a wild night at “the Fairbanks Lounge,” the nickname for the Sorensens’ house on Fairbanks Street in Augusta, which was a gathering place for their work friends?
Sorensen says “my accuser has absolutely no credibility, honesty, or loyalty” because she “has been fired or terminated from each of her last five most significant jobs or contracts, including the Maine Senate Republican Caucus, the Maine Republican Party, Bruce Poliquin for Congress, the Maine House Republican Caucus, and Eric Brakey for Senate.”
If Corbett is as crazy and violent as Sorensen says, what does it say about the Republican Party that she was hired in so many key organizations?
The couple were in the LePage family’s social and professional orbit, apparently, and according to Sorensen’s statement he was pummeled in the face and suffered severe injury on a regular basis. He claims in his statement to be a victim of “repeated physical violence” during his marriage to Corbett, but the governor’s daughter Lauren LePage said she “neither witnessed or saw any evidence of domestic abuse.”
Sorensen says Corbett is untrustworthy, but he hasn’t explained why he didn’t report Corbett’s alleged abuse until he was accused publicly of being an abuser, or, more importantly, why he felt it was necessary, when setting forth his “case” that he was a victim of physical and emotional abuse by Corbett, to conclude by noting her “well-documented” opposition to President Trump, his policies and supporters.
Cue the Ladies Brigade – except instead of standing by their man, they fall down and look sloppy and pathetic with “thoughts and prayers” for a bully and silly “I believe David” proclamations.
Joanne Fryer is a lawyer who, according to the Press Herald, is active in Republican circles and socialized with Sorensen and Corbett. Corbett sought Fryer’s advice at one point about how to proceed with a divorce. Fryer apparently blurted out to a reporter working for one arm of the liberal media that she believes that another arm, The Washington Post, is out “to hurt John Kelly and the president.”
To prove her point, Fryer said it was clear to her that Corbett was not the victim of domestic abuse. “Fryer said that had she detected any sign of domestic abuse, she would have reported it as she is mandated to do,” Press Herald Staff Writer Beth Quimby wrote.
Don’t the professional rules of conduct that govern lawyers prohibit them from revealing clients’ and prospective clients’ confidences?
And since when are lawyers “mandated reporters” of domestic violence?
State Rep. Heather Sirocki, a dental hygienist, said on Facebook, “I worked with David for years. One day, I noticed facial abrasions, but I never asked questions. I believe David.”
Unlike lawyers, dental hygienists are mandated reporters. When I asked Sirocki on Facebook why she didn’t ask any questions if she suspected abuse, Sirocki replied, “I naively assumed there was an innocent reason.”
So what’s changed? Her discovery that Corbett is not a Trump supporter?
The “Sorensen Statement” is a political messaging document created by an astute and ruthless operative that was spun to a base of loyalists whose ears are tuned to anything anti-Trump. Sorensen blew the whistle and Ladies Brigade charged into battle to protect their privilege and their jewelry. They believe Sorensen like they believe Donald Trump, also allegedly the victim of false accusations and a liberal media indictment before being elected as the 45th president of the United States.
“There is no recovery for someone falsely accused,” Trump tweeted. “Life and career are gone.”
As Published in the Portland Press Herald