New Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh has officially declined the more than $600,000 raised by supporters for his legal fees after he was hit with multiple sexual-assault allegations during the confirmation process, citing judicial ethics restraints.
Kavanaugh appeared set to be confirmed to the court before Christine Ford, a Californian woman, came forward to claim he assaulted her in the 1980s; two other women later came forward to allege other assaults.
None of the women were able to provide any evidence or witnesses to support their claims, nor did an FBI investigation of two of the claims find anything. The third woman and her lawyer have been referred for possible charges after the Senate Judiciary Committee said they deceived investigators.
During the extended confirmation process, Kavanaugh’s supporters started a fundraiser on the GoFundMe website that ended up collecting more than $600,000. But he won’t accept the funds, representatives of the justice told PJ Media columnist John Hawkins, who organized the campaign.
Now that Brett Kavanaugh has been confirmed, I'm closing the GoFundMe for his Family https://t.co/FtKvtUcT2P | Final total? $611,645
— John Hawkins (@johnhawkinsrwn) October 6, 2018
“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. Judicial ethics rules caution judges against permitting the use of the prestige of judicial office for fund-raising purposes,” the statement from the representatives said.
“Justice Kavanaugh will not accept any proceeds from the campaign, nor will he direct that any proceeds from the campaign be provided to any third party. Although he appreciates the sentiment, Justice Kavanaugh requests that you discontinue the use of his name for any fund-raising purpose.”
Hawkins noted that Kavanaugh’s statement doesn’t give him any direction for the funds, so he identified a charity he believes the Kavanaugh family would support.
“I did some research on charities supported by the Judge and settled on the Archdiocese of Washington, which runs the Catholic Youth Organization,” Hawkins said, noting Kavanaugh coached a girls’ basketball team there.
People who donated to the campaign may request a refund from GoFundMe until Nov. 6, as that’s when Hawkins says he’s planning to donate the funds to the organization and two other charities.
Other high-profile figures in politics have accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars raised through GoFundMe campaigns, including Andrew McCabe, the former FBI deputy director who was fired after investigators said he lied to them. McCabe accepted more than $554,000.
Campaigns for Ford, the California professor who accused Kavanaugh of assault, have reached nearly $1 million, RealClearInvestigations reported. She said that she will accept the money.
“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.
“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.”