By Harold Pease, Ph. D
I recently received a phone call from my brother Rex, a lifetime airline employee, about allegations of sexual impropriety by Donald Trump 35 years ago by Jessica Leeds, a passenger in first class. He feels the need to add his expertise to the Trump defense. In the early years, beginning in 1979, he loaded, fueled and cleaned aircraft in preparation for their departure. What follows has been extracted from his prepared statement made available to the news outlets:
I listened closely to her words and was shocked when she said, “the first class armrest somehow disappeared.” This, she maintained, allowed Donald Trump, seated next to her, to slide his hand up her leg uninvited. In all passenger aircraft that I have ever been on, the armrests in first class are fixed and cannot be removed by a passenger. And, in the unlikely event that it was, when would Donald Trump have been able to remove it, and without her or others notice? I do not believe any passenger aircraft has passenger removable armrests and I have flown first class more than most regular businessmen. It is a lie.
Other red flags surface. She said that after take off, while sitting in coach, a flight attendant invited her to sit in first class. Yes. That can happen but is extremely rare unless it is, a friend, or a friend of a friend, or someone like that. She mentioned that the flight was from the Midwest to New York City. That typically is a relatively short flight, likely about 2 hours, maybe less.
If the total flight were two hours, if you subtract the take off and landing time, approximately 30 minutes each, that would leave a very small window of time for abuse. If it were a smaller aircraft with a single aisle, which it probably was, then the first class section was pretty small. There is always one and many times two flight attendants assigned only to first class. That is so that the passengers who paid so much more money for their seat can get the service that they were promised. From the moment first class passengers board they are given service non-stop, anything they want throughout the flight. Attendants rarely leave first class.
Ms. Leeds says she kept trying to get the attention of a flight attendant after the assault. That is another lie. At no time in first class is the flight attendant more than 8 or 9 feet away from passengers.
In that era of flying, first class meals entailed laying out full tray silverware, main meals, salads and later desserts, coffee and drinks nonstop and then clean up. This is unlike coach, which would often entail only peanuts and pretzels and drinks. The likelihood of a passenger trying to pull out a middle armrest during what is a steady one-hour of awesome service and then be sexually assaulted, as Ms. Leeds described, without it being noticed by the flight attendant eight feet away, and others, is about as likely as not being spotted doing the same thing in a church pew during church. NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE!!!!
And then there is the question about timing in a two-hour flight, subtracting takeoff and landing leaves about one hour. The nice meal may take most of that hour. At least 45 minutes would have transpired before Leeds was placed in first class next to Trump—right during mealtime. Some acquaintance time would be expected before a man could move to intimacy without the woman screaming for all to hear. During mealtime everyone is awake and alert to any strange behavior. The time frame for intimacy does not exist. Most people wouldn’t think that deeply into this so they might be picturing a midnight flight where everybody is asleep. This was a day flight and Midwest to New York City gives no chance for that theory.
During the time when the accusation was said to have occurred, first class was one of the most controlled atmospheres in the world. Many times there were passengers who might be angry, intoxicated and/or have other problems. It would be immediately brought to the attention of the captain and there would be police waiting at the jet way upon arrival. I have witnessed this many times.
Thirty-five years ago Donald Trump was not so famous that he would have gotten a pass. Still, he would have been known enough that witnesses would be coming forth. Nobody is. Everyone renowned is watched continually.
I suspect that Ms. Leeds has not flown first class often enough to know about first class armrests and as a result has tripped on her own lie, which certainly discredits her story. Again, I have been in aircrafts thousands of times and armrests are not removable or adjustable in first class.
My brother’s expertise on passenger aircraft easily debunks the Jessica Leeds accusation. It also brings into question the other women that have inferred, “He got me too.” The problem is, with less than three weeks before the election, there is not time enough to verify or debunk every claim. That may be intended. Hillary wins a new vote for every voter discouraged from voting for Trump, whether these allegations are fallacious or actual, it does not matter. Wouldn’t it be shamefully corrupt to have someone identified by the FBI as a liar, as was Hillary, gain the highest office in the world with but just one more lie?
Dr. Harold Pease is a syndicated columnist and an expert on the United States Constitution. He has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and applying that knowledge to current events. He has taught history and political science from this perspective for over 30 years at Taft College. To read more of his weekly articles, please visit www.LibertyUnderFire.org.