When friendly Democrats questioned Christine Blasey Ford during Brett Kavanaugh's Senate confirmation hearings to the Supreme Court, they repeated a mantra that she had “nothing to gain” by putting forward accusations that Kavanaugh had fondled her at a drunken high school party 36 years ago.
"You had absolutely nothing to gain by bringing these facts to the Senate Judiciary Committee,” Sen. Dick Durbin said. California Sen. Kamala Harris thanked Ford for her "bravery," adding "clearly [you] have nothing to gain for what you have done."
Turns out that was all hooey.
"Ford stands to gain some $1 million and counting from national crowdfunding campaigns launched by friends and other supporters, while she is said to be fielding book offers," Real Clear Investigations wrote on Monday.
The potential seven-figure windfall, which she says she intends to cash in on – while still asking donors for more money – has some questioning her motivation for accusing the conservative judge after 35 years of silence, and whether it goes beyond personal or even political justice. Others worry the largesse sets a dangerous precedent: Crowdfunding, which unlike political donations is unregulated, could be routinely used in the future as a bounty for providing political dirt on opponents.
Two GoFundMe accounts have raised more than $842,000 for Ford, and the money is still coming in weeks after she testified and left the spotlight. The total does not include a third account collecting $120,000 for an academic endowment in her name.
"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 said in a recent statement posted on the GoFundMe page of the “Help Christine Blasey Ford” campaign, which is still bringing in donations. "Funds received via this account will be used to help us pay for these mounting expenses.”
GoFundMe spokeswoman Katherine Cichy told RealClearInvestigations (RCI) that Ford and her husband "can withdraw as much as they want whenever they want for any purpose. Payments would be electronically deposited into the Fords' bank account within two to five business days of initiating withdrawals."
But Ford didn't have many expenses. All of her legal fees and a polygraph examination were paid for by Democratic attorneys assigned to her by the Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, RCI wrote. And "panel Democrats were allotted half of a $1 million committee fund for transportation, security, investigations and other expenses associated with the tumultuous confirmation process. The Senate Sergeant at Arms and Capitol Police also provided 'heightened security' for Ford."
Real Clear Investigations reported:
"Her lawyers said they were representing her on a pro-bono basis. Why does she need all of this money?” said an attorney familiar with the committee's investigation into her allegations, adding that the funds were originally set up to help pay her legal bills.