Washington is still reacting to accusations of sexual assault against Brett Kavanaugh, president Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.
But conservative lawyer Ed Whelan has come to the embattled Kavanaugh's aid. Whelan has tried to use real estate database Zillow to prove his innocence. Needless to say, he ended up following a conspiracy theory and causing himself a fair amount of embarrassment.
Kavanaugh stands accused of sexual assault by former classmate and California professor Christine Blasey Ford. Kavanaugh's nomination has been far from smooth, but Ford’s testimony that he assaulted her during a high school party has intensified calls for him to step down.
Whelan’s Twitter thread takes the Kavanaugh defence to a whole new, conspiracy theory-esque level. Let’s dive in.
Firstly, he states that Ford’s allegations are so vague that they make it “impossible” for Kavanaugh to prove that he didn’t assault her.
Next, using addresses found in their high school yearbook, Whelan lays out four locations.
He then claims to have located a possible house where the alleged assault took place, complete with floor place. Accordingt o Whelan, Kavanaugh's classmate Chris Garrett lived in that home at the time, but it’s fair to say a lot of assumptions and guesswork are being used already.
Whelan suggests Dr. Ford's account of her assault, which described an upstairs bathroom and bedroom, conforms with house's layout. Then he says that the house’s layout means that "someone leaving the house down the stairs and out the front door wouldn't be seen from the family room", so the assault could have been perpetrated by anyone.
Bizarrely, Whelan even insinuates Chris Garrett could have been responsible. He uses a screenshot from Facebook to prove that Garrett was friends with Mark Judge, who was allegedly in the room too.
He then posts side by side photos of the men to suggest that they look alike and that Ford could have mistaken one as the other.
Kavanaugh categorically denies being at the gathering and committing the assault
Beyond his countless character witnesses from then and now, Judge and Smyth have informed the Senate Judiciary Committee that they recall no such gathering at which Kavanaugh was present.
But surprise surprise, Whelan then backpedals from this extremely damaging and unfounded accusation – probably to avoid being sued.
To be clear, I have no idea what, if anything, did or did not happen in that bedroom at the top of the stairs, and I therefore do not state, imply or insinuate that Garrett or anyone else committed the sexual assault that Ford alleges.
Further, if Ford is now mistakenly remembering Garrett to be Kavanaugh, I offer no view whether that mistaken remembrance dates from the gathering or developed at some point in the intervening years.
It is regrettable that private citizens are being drawn into this
Responding, Ford rubbished Whelan's Twitter thread in an interview with the Washington Post:
I knew them both, and socialised with. There is zero chance that I would confuse them.
Naturally, the internet couldn’t get enough of this ridiculous thread, mercilessly mocking Whelan’s desperate defence and self-own