Ed Whelan, National Review writer and president of the Ethics & Public Policy Center, made headlines this week after issuing a series of tweets suggesting that he was aware of "compelling evidence" that would fully exonerate Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, for whom Whelan is a strong advocate. On Thursday, Whelan issued another series of tweets revealing some of that evidence, which included the identity of a former classmate of Kavanaugh who Whelan suggested accuser Christine Blasey Ford may have "mistakenly remember[ed]" as Kavanaugh.
On Friday morning, Whelan apologized for the "appalling and inexcusable mistake" of revealing the identity of Kavanaugh's classmate.
"I made an appalling and inexcusable mistake of judgment in posting the tweet thread in a way that identified Kavanaugh's Georgetown Prep classmate," Whelan wrote. "I take full responsibility for that mistake, and I deeply apologize for it. I realize that does not undo the mistake."
In a series of since-deleted tweets, Whelan provided some of what he said was evidence that Ford may have misremembered who was involved in the alleged sexual assault that she says occurred back in high school when she was 15 and Kavanaugh was 17.
Using details from Ford's account, particularly her claim that the incident took place in a house near the Columbia Country Club, Whelan pointed out that the three people named in her allegation did not live in the vicinity of the club. "Kavanaugh’s home was 3.6 miles away; [Patrick] Smyth’s 4.3 miles; [Mark] Judge’s 10 miles; and the female classmate’s 7 miles," he wrote.
However, one former classmate of Kavanaugh, who was also friends with Judge, did have a house near the club and looked similar to Kavanaugh. Whelan then identified that classmate.
Whelan closed out the thread by underscoring that he was not accusing Kavanaugh's classmate of the assault, but was laying out evidence that he believes "powerfully supports Judge Kavanaugh’s categorical denial."
"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 [Kavanaugh's classmate] or anyone else committed the sexual assault that Ford alleges," he wrote in a since-deleted tweet. "Further, if Ford is now mistakenly remembering [the classmate] to be Kavanaugh, I offer no view whether that mistaken remembrance dates from the gathering or developed at some point in the intervening years."