Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh declined more than $600,000 raised by a GoFundMe campaign during the weeks that he appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee prior to his confirmation. A statement on GoFundMe noted that the campaign was closed to new donations on October 6, and had raised $611,645 by then. “Justice Kavanaugh did not authorize the use of his name to raise funds in connection with the GoFundMe campaign. He was not able to do so for judicial ethics reasons,” according to a statement. “Although he appreciates the sentiment, Justice Kavanaugh requests that you discontinue the use of his name for any fundraising purpose.” According to John Hawkins, who initiated the GoFundMe page, “The last thing any of us want is for our attempt to help Judge Kavanaugh’s family to be used against him.” Ethics rules prohibited Kavanaugh from making appeals.
Hawkins will donate the funds to the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington and divided between the Catholic Youth Organization, the Tuition Assistance Fund, and the Victory Youth Center. Those that do not wish for their donations to go to the above named charities have one week to request a refund. So far, the total funds have dropped to below $575,000.
Justice Kavanaugh faced accusations by Professor Christine Blasey Ford, who alleged that he sexually abused her decades ago when they were both teenagers. He was eventually confirmed on October 6 despite being pilloried by Senate Democrats and victims’ advocates.
Spero News reached out to the GoFundMe page for Ford but has yet to receive a response to an email request. One of two successful fundraising pages on the website is still garnering donations for a non-strings-attached kitty that now totals more than $633,000. On October 3, a message from Ford appeared on the web page, which was started by an anonymous party or parties identified as “her neighbors and colleagues,” claiming that the money will be used for “security, housing, transportation and other related expenses” incurred as a result of her public allegations against Kavanaugh. “I cannot express how grateful I am for the outpouring of support and generosity that we have received through this GoFundMe account,” Ford wrote on October 3. She added, “I feel like all of you who have made a contribution are on this journey with me, which is very heartening.”
“The costs for security, housing, transportation and other related expenses are much higher than we anticipated and they do not show signs of letting up,” Ford wrote in the message. The other GoFundMe page has received more than $200,000 and is now closed. Ford’s high-powered lawyers, who appeared with her in Senate hearings, offered their services pro bono.
However, recent reports suggest that Ford may have other plans for the money. Ford and her husband own two homes valued together at $4.3 million and sold a bed-and-breakfast business for more than $1.5 million over ten years ago. According to Paul Sperry of RealClearPolitics, Ford is considering various book deals that may also add to her funds. She and her husband both earn generous salaries. Sperry also noted that local records in California show that Ford applied for a building permit to remodel the Santa Cruz beach house she owns with her husband. She made the application on July 16: two weeks before sending a letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) that accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault. Sperry wrote: “The proposed remodeling job is significant and expensive.” Moreover, Sperry expressed concern that the money raised for Ford at GoFundMe “sets a dangerous precedent by creating a new incentive for accusers” while it encourages “partisan activists” to “offer crowdfunding as a form of bounty on political foes, or to buy witness testimony against political adversaries.”