Brett Kavanaugh - considered to be the poorest Supreme Court Justice on the bench, has declined nearly $600,000 that was donated to him through a GoFundMe campaign amid a firestorm of sexual misconduct charges during his confirmation process, according to Yahoo! News.
"because of judicial ethics restraints, Justice Kavanaugh and his family cannot accept or direct the funds," reads an update to the GoFundMe campaign.
John Hawkins, a veteran conservative blogger who runs a Kavanaugh-inspired “men’s website” called Brass Pills, organized the fundraising campaign. On Tuesday, Hawkins posted what he referred to as an “official statement” from Kavanaugh’s representatives distancing the justice from the effort:
“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. 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.” -Yahoo! News
The GoFundMe page was organized by veteran conservative blogger, John Hawkins, who said he organized the page in case Kavanaugh needed the funds for an attorney or security.
And while Kavanaugh will forever have a #MeToo asterisk next to his name, his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford - who lives in a Palo Alto, CA house worth over $3 million, raked in over $1 million in donations from crowdfunding campaigns, and has reportedly been fielding book offers, according to Paul Sperry of RealClearInvestigations.
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. -RealClearInvestigations
"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," said Ford in a recent statement on the GoFundMe page "Help Christine Blasey Ford," which is still active and accepting donations. "Funds received via this account will be used to help us pay for these mounting expenses," she claims.
According to GoFundMe spokeswoman Katherine Cichy, the Fords are able to withdraw as much as they want, whenever they want, for whatever purpose they deem necessary. Once requested, funds would be electronically deposited into their bank accounts within two to five business days.
Some question the necessity of the financial assistance given that much of the costs associated with Ford's testimony – including all of her legal fees plus a polygraph examination – were covered by Democratic attorneys assigned to her by the Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, committee sources say; 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. -RealClearInvestigations
"Her lawyers said they were representing her on a pro-bono basis. Why does she need all of this money?" asked an attorney familiar with the committee's investigation.