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Elizabeth Warren high school debate partner does not recall her mentioning Native American heritage

Elizabeth Warren high school debate partner does not recall her mentioning Native American heritage

Karl Johnson was Elizabeth Warren’s high school debate partner.  According to a prior interview by Johnson, he and Warren were “joined at the hip” for three years:

“We may as well have been joined at the hip for those three years, spending countless days, evenings and weekends together preparing for and attending debate tournaments throughout Oklahoma and elsewhere. “Yet I never tired of working with her – not for an instant – and ever since have measured each subsequent relationship with a professional colleague by my collaboration with Liz,” said Johnson.

I interviewed Johnson late this afternoon, after seeing his name in an article by Paul Rahe regarding Warren’s high school debating.  (Rahe says he went to the same high school, although Johnson did not recall Rahe.)

Johnson now is a lawyer in New Mexico specializing in Native American law, and has donated exclusively to Democrats.  He indicated he has had little contact with Warren since high school and has not spoken with her in the last six months.

While debate partners, the team was very successful, according to Johnson, winning the Oklahoma state cross-examination championship their senior year.  That was the main debate format at the time, according to Johnson, so it was the equivalent of being state champions.

I asked Johnson about Warren’s claim to be Native American.  Johnson said that he did not recall Warren ever mentioning it, although he could not rule it out because it has been so long.  “I don’t recall it, she might have.”

He then went on to explain how intermarriage was more common at the time in Oklahoma than in other areas and that there are many people in Oklahoma “who have or say they have Indian blood” but are not on offical rolls.

I pressed him on Warren’s specific claim to be Native American.  He said he “only knows what’s in the newspapers.”  He said he doesn’t remember Warren mentioning it, “might have but don’t recall it.”

Johnson said he knew Warren’s family and had been to her house.  He said the subject of her family being Native American “never came up, wouldn’t have talked about” it.    He said there was nothing in her home to indicate Native American heritage, although he did not find that surprising.

He also did not recall anything to indicate a family problem because Warren’s mother was Native American, although again he said he would not have expected that to be discussed growing up in the 1950s.

This all stands in contrast to Warren’s very detailed stories about how fundamental her Native American heritage was to her growing up and in her family.

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Remember, in 2002 Warren’s adult nephew described the claims to Native American ancestry as being rumor, and her family members always were identified as White even when Native American/American Indian was a clear choice.

It certainly is possible that Warren just decided not to mention anything about being Native American to the person to whom she was “joined at the hip” for three years, even though it was a fundamental part of who she was since she was born.

Voters will have to judge the credibility of Warren’s claim to Native American ancestry, and her stories about family lore, in light of the facts which have come out, and will come out, about how she actually lived her life from people who knew her growing up.

There will be more to follow.

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Comments

I appreciate the continuing coverage of the Professor. Thank you!

Obviously this former partner of Elizabeth Warren,

ia a pathelogical liar
must be a member of the John Birch Society
incapable of telling the truth
is an evangelical Christian
is an believing Jew,
is s Bush voter,
is a general, all around loon,

Therefore, do not believe whatever he/she says.

I’m so sick of these Bush repubican evil wingnuts who have memories.

When I was in high school, cheek bones were the last thing I noticed about the girls.

Since Johnson will be pressured to disavow what you’re quoting, hopefully you have an objective record of the interview. You work with legal evidence, so presumably you do.

Thanks, Prof, for doing the job the LSM won’t do.

Of course she didn’t tell him that she was a Cherokee back then, she hadn’t made it up yet

More and more, I am moving towards doubt of her claims of Cherokee ancestry.

    And what exactly took you so long?

      Henry Hawkins in reply to pfg. | September 12, 2012 at 9:17 pm

      Well, it’s kind of like watching a marching band and that one girl is out of step – but is she really? Couldn’t it be that she’s the only one IN step, that it’s the other 299 marchers who are out of step?

      I mean, isn’t it possible that Elizabeth Warren is right and everybody else on the planet is wrong?

      One wants to be fair, after all.

Well, let’s see now. Does Lizzy know how to throw a TomSuzahawk, umm Pegahawk, DAMN! lest I piss anyone of her ILK off, howz’ about a genderneutralhawk?

I just got called by and hung up on a pollster. I’ll bet our side does that a lot.

EW must be of the Fugarwe Tribe, see Sgt Agarn, but I still think she’s a just a basic turd,

I live here in Massachusetts, life long actually, and, IMO, I think my neighbors are basically shittiheads; remember, they;re the ones who returned time after time Fat Boy Kennedy to the Senate. They’re basically stupid. You know,like the Cambridge Police Dept.

These two gentlemen not only won the Oklahoma State high school debates in 1966, they were also the National Forensic League Champions that year: Richard Bernard and Brad Rice, of Edmond, Oklahoma. So while Johnson and Herring were good, these two were a bit better that year.

    walls in reply to gasper. | September 12, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    You know, if somebody had knocked up Elizabeth Warren in high school [shivers], I bet she would have been the first debater in Oklahoma to have won the state title while breastfeeding.

This interview seems incomplete to me. Maybe she never mentioned being Cherokee, but did she ever pay for lunch with wampum? Did she ever stink of peyote at debate practice? Did she refer to corn as maize? Or have a strange preoccupation with spirit gods or buffalo? These things are important.

High school guy talking?

Believe me, his reference about Warren’s ‘cheek bones’ in high school wasn’t a reference about the bones in her face.

Professor, thank you for investigating and reporting on this story.

If she can be stopped now, maybe she won’t follow in Obama’s footsteps four years from now.

Why is it that Liberals cannot seem to stand on their own merits. You have Biden lying about his grades. John Kerry lying about his military service. Hilary lying about taking fire at the airport and on and on and on. It seems for a group of people who claim to be the “elite” they sure have to fabricate a great deal of their personal histories.

    You really answered your own question: those who can’t do, become liberal politicians. Liberal voters clamor to root for a fraud. (It helps maintain the obnoxious adolescent fantasies about life, which they have so much of themselves invested in. That’s why it’s so incredibly hard to move them off their denial, but so easy for frauds like Obama, Hillary Clinton, Kerry and Warren to fool them.)

Forgot to mention: the only way to overcome these repressed adolescent voters is to exert vastly more pressure than the frauds who would exploit them. Too many people on our side aren’t willing to do this type of heavy lifting.

My mother’s side of the family is from Kansas. She had a grandmother or great grandmother who was encouraged to stay in the kitchen when certain company came for she was a woman of the Plains Tribes, Osage I think. Unfortunately we lost our heritage in the Dust bowl, she came to California as a young teen.

I am perfectly willing to accept that Ms. Warren has a trace of tribal blood (I refuse to say “Native American” because that is everyone born in North or South America).
After all I have reddish brown hair (or used to) and gray eyes. So, yeah, she might have some, probably not Cherokee but, so what? She certainly didn’t have enough of the alleged trials and tribulations that would require the dubious help of those quotas. And that is the rub.

Hell, everyone and their idiot brother in law from Kansas, Oklahoma, Newbrasky and half of Ioway can lay claim to a trace of Tribal blood.

Er, that was my mother that came to California as a young teen.

Come on, with cheek bones so high, did she really have to mention her heritage?

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