Politics

Kavanaugh pal who tried to pin sexual assault on someone else is lying about White House connections

Mitch McConnell and BlameGate author Ed Whelan at announcement of Kavanaugh's nomination
Mitch McConnell and Ed Whelan at announcement of Kavanaugh‘s nomination

Ed Whelan, president of the laughably named Ethics and Public Policy Center, was interviewed by the Washington Post on Friday evening. He refused to discuss his scheme to pin a sexual assault on a middle school teacher and shift the blame from Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. He also claims that he did not communicate with Kavanaugh, White House counsel Don McGahn, or “anyone else at the White House.” And on top of his ugly shift the blame scheme, it’s obvious that he’s lying — because he knew Christine Blasey Ford’s name before it became public, but was known to the White House

By his own admission, Whelan communicated with someone about the blame-scheme before he took it to Twitter. He earlier admitted that he had spent days cooking up a “theory” that included a map to the home of the man he accused without evidence and even floor plans and photos from inside his home. He also admitted that he had discussed the idea with others before releasing it. Whelan published his accusation in a week that included statements from Republican Senator Orrin Hatch suggesting that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford might be “mixed up” in naming Kavanaugh, and a complete column from Washington Post writer Kathleen Parker on the possibility of a “Kavanaugh doppelganger.” 

Whelan is not some outsider who dreamed this up and randomly tossed it onto Twitter. He’s a long time friend of Kavanaugh who worked with him in the Bush administration, and is part of the team who has been preparing Kavanaugh for his confirmation hearings. Whelan is also a Washington insider with deep connections in the network of “think tanks” and “institutes” that churn out talking points and policies on the right. In particular, Whelan is closely associated with Federalist Society chief Leonard Leo, who is also part of Kavanaugh’s confirmation team.

Whelan is now saying that, in the midst of helping Kavanaugh through the confirmation, he spent days working up a plan to throw the blame on someone else in a scheme so carefully worked out that it includes a kind of “forensic choreography” of Blasey Ford’s movements following the attack. And he did show this scheme to others and get their feedback. But he did not share it with Kavanaugh or “anyone at the White House.” All of which seems as ridiculous as the name of his “ethics” center.

That’s especially true when, before Christine Blasey Ford’s name was released to the public, Ed Whelan was already researching her. That research started 90 minutes after the Washington Post shared her name with someone at the White House and hours before it was released to the public. Whelan can claim all he wants that he wasn’t talking to the White House — but it doesn’t take 30-tweet stream and floorplans to see that he’s flat out lying.


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