Hours after Christine Blasey Ford went on the record accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of attempted sexual assault, Kavanaugh’s far-right supporters were hard at work trying to explain away the allegations.
One particularly flimsy conspiracy theory circulating in recent days is that Ford is acting out of revenge because Kavanaugh’s mother, a Maryland state judge, foreclosed on Ford’s childhood home.
There’s one problem with this theory: though Judge Martha Kavanaugh was briefly involved in a 1996 foreclosure action brought by a lender against Ford’s parents, she granted the lender’s subsequent motion to dismiss the case. Ultimately, as fact-checking site Snopes details, the matter was resolved in Ralph and Paula Blasey’s favor.
This makes it a rather weak foundation for a revenge plot.
Ford claims Kavanaugh held her down and tried to sexually assault her at a party in high school. Kavanaugh has denied the assault allegations.
Nonetheless, this random link between the Kavanaughs and Blaseys was identified by Twitter users like Turning Points USA staffer Richard Armande Mills on Monday, who claimed that Ford’s family was “negatively affected by Kavanaugh’s mom.”
These tweets were quickly picked up by far-right blogs like Gateway Pundit, which, with characteristic subtlety, inaccurately headlined its post “Bad Blood: Judge Kavanaugh’s Mother Foreclosed On Far Left Accuser’s Parents’ Home.”
Powerline also falsely stated that “Kavanaugh’s mother ruled against Ford’s parents,” calling that a “motive, beyond partisan politics, for Ford to make up or significantly embellish her story so long after the ‘fact.’”
Other sites opted for the confusion angle. A Daily Caller headline read, “Kavanaugh’s Mother Presided Over Foreclosure of Accuser’s Family Home. But The Facts Are Complicated.”
The article’s second paragraph suggests the matter is actually not so complicated: “Judge Martha Kavanaugh was connected to a foreclosure action implicating the Blaseys, but her involvement was minimal and never resulted in seizure of the property at issue.”
The Resurgent’s Erick Erickson has pointed to these false or misleading posts to call on reporters to investigate the “growing body of blogs” posting about the foreclosure matter. In a subsequent tweet denying that Ford’s allegations are credible, Erickson states as fact that Kavanaugh’s “mom foreclosed on the accuser’s parents house.”
Note to reporters: a growing body of blogs are posting that Kavanaugh's mother presided over the foreclosure of Christine Blasey Ford's childhood home or, at a minimum, her parents' home. I encourage you to honestly vet this as it could explain motive or fuel conspiracy
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) September 17, 2018
That is not the story told by Montgomery County Circuit Court records. A North Carolina lender moved to initiate foreclosure proceedings against the Blaseys in August 1996, and a different judge was assigned to oversee the matter. As Snopes detailed, by December, the Blaseys refinanced the mortgage, and the lender filed a motion to dismiss its petition in January 1997. Martha Kavanaugh, now overseeing the case, granted that motion the following month.
The foreclosure matter is just one of many lines of attack for Ford’s detractors, who have also characterized the alleged attempted sexual assault as a youthful indiscretion or game of “seven minutes of heaven.”
Some are opting to pursue both simultaneously. In the Powerline post about the foreclosure, Fox News and CSPAN regular Paul Mirengoff opines that “even assuming that, on one occasion, the teenage Kavanaugh, having had too much to drink, engaged in serious misconduct towards this girl, I fail to see why this should bar him from the Supreme Court.”
“I don’t assume this occurred, however,” Mirengoff continues. “It seems more likely that Ms. Ford has invented or substantially embellished this story—out of political bias, animus towards the family because of the court case, or both.”
The Senate Judiciary Committee has called a new public hearing for next Monday, where both Kavanaugh and Ford will be asked to give their accounts under oath.