Death Threats Force Ford Family Into Hiding, $200,000 Raised For Security

chrstine blasey ford

University photo Christine Blasey Ford.

With reports that harassment and death threats have sent Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and her family, with two teenage sons, into hiding, guarded by private security, a GoFundMe was set up, swiftly reached its goal and was shuttered after raising $200,000 to help keep her and her family safe.

Dr. Blasey, 51, author, California college professor and Stanford researcher, accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of trying to sexually assault when the two were teenagers. She claims Kavanaugh pinned her down on a bed, cover her mouth as she tried to scream, attempted to rip her clothes off her when another teen in the room, named as Mark Judge jumped on the bed, the three fell and she escaped, hid in a bathroom until she was able to run from the house. Decades later, she told a therapist and this summer, told lawmakers and took a polygraph which she passed.

Kavanagugh, 53, has denied the incident.

As the Senate Judiciary Committee delayed its planned confirmation vote, it’s now said it will hold a Monday Sept. 24 public hearing where Kavanaugh and Blasey Ford would be questioned. She has said through her attorney that while she is not opposed to a hearing, she says an official federal law enforcement investigation must come first. Kavanaugh friend Mark Judge, who is alleged to have witnessed the attempted rape has said eh will not publicly testify about the alleged incident.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Dr. Christine Blasey Ford & Her Teen Sons Are in Hiding as Her Life is Threatened

The New York Times reported that threats forced Blasey Ford and her sons, both teens, to go into hiding and hire private security. The Times reported that one threat included the message that she had “six months to live, you disgusting slime.”

“Her worst fears are coming true,” the Times was told by a source close to Blasey Ford.

Her lawyers Debra Katz and Lisa Banks wrote to Sen. Chuck Grassley

“As you know, earlier this summer, Dr. Ford sought to tell her story, in confidence, so that lawmakers would have a fuller understanding of Brett Kavanaugh’s character and history. Only after the details of her experience were leaked did Dr. Ford make the reluctant decision to come forward publicly.

“In the 36 hours since her name became public, Dr. Ford has received a stunning amount of support from her community and from fellow citizens across our country. At the same time, however, her worst fears have materialized. She has been the target of vicious harassment and even death threats. As a result of these kind of threats, her family was forced to relocate out of their home. Her email has been hacked, and she has been impersonated online.”

2. A GoFundMe Campaign Raised $200,000 for Security for Kavanaugh’s Accuser

“Due to death threats,” wrote Georgetown law professor Heidi Feldman, Blasey Ford “and her family have had to leave their residence and arrange for private security.” Fledman created the fund to “cover her security expenses, to do just a bit to make it easier for women in her position to come forward despite great risks. If we raise more than Dr. Blasey needs, extra funds will go to women’s organizations and/or into an account to cover similar costs incurred in comparable situations.”

Feldman said that while she does not know Blasey Ford personally, she said: “I have been in communication with Dr. Blasey Ford’s representatives who have assured me that she needs and will accept our assistance with security costs.”

Feldman said she has “raised money formally and informally for other causes over the years. My reason for starting this fundraiser is to make concrete the power of collective action in providing security, and therefore support, for Dr. Blasey’s willingness to contribute to a thorough, fair vetting of a nominee for Supreme Court Justice.”

The goal was $100,000 then raised to $175,000 and when it surpassed $200,000, the donations wee closed. In one day, more than 6,500 people donated to the fund which ended on midnight Wednesday with $209,987 raised in total.

3. Before Coming Forward Publicly, Kavanaugh’s Accuser Feared This Would be Her Fate. Fox News Host Says ‘Democrats Betrayed Her’

In an initial interview with The Washington Post, she said she was hesitant about outing herself for this very reason: “Why suffer through the annihilation if it’s not going to matter,” she asked rhetorically meaning that Kavanaugh’s nomination may continue regardless of her claim. But ultimately decided to come forward, she told the Post, “Now I feel like my civic responsibility is outweighing my anguish and terror about retaliation.”

Conservative Fox News host Tucker Carlson Wednesday said the threats she’s receiving are the fault of Democrats.

“She had asked to remain anonymous. Democrats betrayed her and they dragged her into the public eye. Now Ford says she has had to leave her home because of threats. Democrats in the Senate did that purely for partisan advantage. And you should keep that in mind the next time they lecture you about how much they care about women.”

4. Republican Sen. Susan Collins Says She’s Getting ‘Pretty Ugly Voicemails.’ Some Conservatives Say Boo-Hoo

Conservative blogger for The Washington Post Jennifer Rubin remarked “Her act a a perpetual victim is wearing thin. She should demand an FBI investigation as was done in Anita Hill.”

In an radio interview Wednesday, Collins said that she was surprised Blasey Ford “…now appears she’s turning down all 3 options even though her attorney said earlier this week that she would come testify.”

“I just don’t understand why the hearing shouldn’t go forth,” she says.

5. Does the FBI Need Permission to Investigate the Sexual Assault Allegation, Death Threats & Hacking of Blasey Ford’s Social Media?

In addition to a called-for FBI investigation into the allegations Blasey Ford made against Kavanaugh, much as the agency did in 1991 and in just a couple of days time when law professor Anita Hill came forward with her claims against then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas, some are asking why top federal investigators aren’t already involved.

A question on social media is why the FBI isn’t actively investigating “death threats and hacking perpetrated on Dr. Blasey-Ford? If not, why not? You do not need permission from the WH to investigate these cybercrime.”

Banks and Katz wrote in their letter to Grassley:

“While Dr. Ford’s life was being turned upside down, you and your staff scheduled a public hearing for her to testify at the same table as Judge Kavanaugh in front of two dozen U.S. Senators on national television to relive this traumatic and harrowing incident. The hearing was scheduled for six short days from today and would include interrogation by Senators who appear to have made up their minds that she is ‘mistaken’ and ‘mixed up.’ While no sexual assault survivor should be subjected to such an ordeal, Dr. Ford wants to cooperate with the Committee and with law enforcement officials.”

“As the Judiciary Committee has recognized and done before, an FBI investigation of the incident should be the first step in addressing her allegations. A full investigation by law enforcement officials will ensure that the crucial facts and witnesses in this matter are assessed ina non-partisan manner, and that the Committee is fully informed before conducting any hearing or
making any decisions.”

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