President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018, for the third day of his confirmation to replace retired Justice Anthony Kennedy. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
After tweeting out what sounded like a conspiracy theory, Ed Whelan of the Ethics and Public Policy Center issued a Friday morning apology for the misguided thread.
The thread, which has since been deleted, detailed Whelan’s “evidence” that it wasn’t Kavanaugh who assaulted Christine Blasey Ford, and actually named and showed pictures of someone who bore a resemblance to Kavanaugh in high school.
It was widely interpreted as “It wasn’t Kavanaugh, but probably this guy.”
The thread was nothing short of libelous and Whelan received tons of blowback from liberals and conservatives alike.
I made an appalling and inexcusable mistake of judgment in posting the tweet thread in a way that identified Kavanaugh's Georgetown Prep classmate. I take full responsibility for that mistake, and I deeply apologize for it. I realize that does not undo the mistake.
— Ed Whelan (@EdWhelanEPPC) September 21, 2018
What is interesting is that, following the thread and my critique of it, I began to hear from people that this wasn’t just wild speculation, but an idea that has been floating around behind the scenes for a while. It appears as though a few people were pitched the details, but Whelan, who is a friend of Kavanaugh, took it and blasted it out with the subtlety and nuance of a Michael Bay film.
I tend to err on the side of Jeff Blehar of the Decision Desk, who made this prediction prior to Whelan’s thread.
I fear Ed Whelan is overpromising significantly, letting his personal emotions as a long-time friend of Kavanaugh's carry him away (which is extremely unusual for Whelan, normally a very controlled person). I cannot *possibly* see how a negative can be definitively proven. https://t.co/8d3gVrzh1a
— Jeff B. (@EsotericCD) September 20, 2018
While I can’t speak for Whelan’s state of mind, it is very understandable that wanting to defend a close friend, and sometimes emotions do cause us to make questionable decisions.
However, the damage is done. He named the other guy, and the media has already attempted to get in contact with him as a result. Whelan made a huge error in judgment and it could have a very nasty impact on his credibility, which is all a shame considering that he is otherwise a smart and good guy.