When the money started coming in for this GoFundMe, it was at a crucial point in the confirmation process for Brett Kavanaugh. The mainstream media was doing everything in its power to destroy him; Democrats were going all-in to stop him and whether he’d be confirmed or not was really up in the air.
When it mattered most, over 13,000 people stood up for a good man who was being attacked. We sent a message not just to the media and the Republicans in the Senate who needed to stiffen their spines, but to the Kavanaugh team when it really mattered.
I've spoken to a former clerk for Judge Kavanaugh who told me that Kavanaugh’s supporters loved the outpouring of support from this GoFundMe. When Kavanaugh was getting torn apart in front of the world, that person told me that seeing the numbers go up on this GoFundMe really lifted their spirits when it mattered. The clerk I spoke to told me they were aware of this when it was at $20,000 and they were amazed it had gotten that high. So, when it started to really climb and they ultimately saw that more than 13,000 people contributed, they were just blown away by all the support for the Judge.
Similarly, that former law clerk told me that because of judicial ethics restraints, Justice Kavanaugh and his family cannot accept or direct the funds. With that in mind, here is the official statement I received, which I assume more than a few lawyers were involved with crafting:
"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."
The last thing any of us want is for our attempt to help Judge Kavanaugh’s family to be used against him. Given the strictness of the ethics rules and the possibility that the Judge could get in trouble if he’s tied to this in any way, I made it clear that we wouldn’t want a public “Thank you” that could potentially be used against him.
That being said, we’ve been waiting for direction from the Judge’s family on what to do with the money and what they are saying is that they are not allowed to give us any direction at all. So, what do we do? In a perfect world, I’d just give the money to the Judge’s family or set up a college fund for his kids, but again we don’t want to turn this incredible effort to help the Judge’s family into a tool that can be used to hurt him. With that in mind, from the very beginning, this GoFundMe has noted that if the Kavanaugh family can’t or won’t be able to take the money, we’d give it to a charity of their choice.
Since they are not allowed to suggest a charity, I did some research on charities supported by the Judge and settled on the Archdiocese of Washington which runs the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO). Brett Kavanaugh rather famously coached girls’ basketball there and if the Kavanaugh family were allowed to support a charity, I feel confident the Archdiocese of Washington would be near the top of the list. After talking to the Archdiocese of Washington about the best way to use the funds to help the sort of kids Brett Kavanaugh has been working with, we’re going to split the money between three of their programs: The Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) , the Tuition Assistance Fund , and the Victory Youth Center .
With that in mind, I talked with GoFundMe and explained that I’d like to see the money go to this charity. If for some reason, you don’t want your money to go to that charity, you will have a week from today to ask for a refund from GoFundMe here: https://tinyurl.com/y7zbwogf Additionally, GoFundMe, which has been incredibly helpful behind the scenes, provided a list of all the comments people made. After screening out the trolls, I want you to know that all of those have been sent to the Judge’s family. So, if they didn’t get to read those comments while you were leaving them, they will certainly get to see them now. I’m sure all those kind words will mean a lot to them.
Last but not least, folks, this GoFundMe has been a TREMENDOUS success. We were able to show support for Judge Kavanaugh in his hour of need and raise an enormous amount of money for a charity that has obviously meant a lot to him. Everyone who contributed should be extremely proud to be a part of this.
Like many decent people from both parties, I have been disgusted by the unsubstantiated 36 year old smears aimed at Brett Kavanaugh. We live in a country where innocent until proven guilty is supposed to mean something; yet Brett Kavanaugh's reputation is being dragged through the mud while his family is facing non-stop death threats.
This is a horrible way to treat a good man who has dedicated his life to public service. So many unethical people are giving unprovable 36 year old accusations the same weight as 6 FBI background checks, hundreds of hours of hearings and testimony under oath. It is disgraceful.
What I'd like to do is raise money for Brett Kavanaugh's family to use for security or however they see fit. All of the money collected will go to Brett Kavanaugh's family or alternately, if they refuse to accept it, to a charity of their choice. I have already reached out to a contact who should be able to put me in touch with Brett Kavanaugh's family. If he can't do it, I have plenty of other contacts who should be able to make it happen. I will update this page after I have talked with his family.
I hope you will show your support for a good man who has been treated very, very badly.
Update: I have heard some people say that Brett Kavanaugh is rich and so his family doesn't need the money. That's actually not correct. According to Market Watch, "Brett Kavanaugh may become the ‘poorest’ Supreme Court justice ."
Update #2: Some people have asked who I am and how they know that the Kavanaugh family will get the money. My name is John Hawkins. You can read about me here on Right Wing News. My identity has been verified by both Twitter and Facebook. I do weekly columns at PJ Media and have a book out. I am not someone who can fade into the background, so when I tell you that the Kavanaugh family will decide what happens to the money, that is what will happen. I have also been in regular contact with a representative of GoFundMe. All funds will be held by GoFundMe until the family has been contacted and a clear plan has been agreed upon.
Update #3: I've reached out to Kavanaugh's family through three different people and I also called his office and spoke to a secretary about this today. I will let everyone know after I have gotten in touch with them.
Update #4: I have a well connected contact who says he can get me in touch with Kavanaugh's team. When I have guidance from Kavanaugh's family, I will update. Also, congrats on taking this fund raiser over $50,000 while Judge Kavanaugh was giving his powerful testimony during the hearing. I'm proud of the success we've had and the support we've shown for the judge's family.
Update #5: I have continued reaching out to the judge's family through different sources, but haven't yet had any luck reaching them. It has occurred to me that they may not want to be reached until after the judge's confirmation vote, which would be very understandable. In any case, I will continue reaching out to the judge's family until I get an answer from them. Last but not least, with everything Judge Kavanaugh is being put through, it is fantastic to see so many people publicly showing their support for his family.
Update #6: The original goal was $100,000. I upped that to $125,000 and then $150,000. After that, I went up to $250,000 and it looks like we're about to blow past that number as well. It is amazing to see so many good people supporting the family of a good man who has been treated so poorly and I am sure they will be very excited when they see all the support that they've gotten.
Update #7: I have continued reaching out to Brett Kavanaugh's family via multiple sources including his office and his lawyer, Beth Wilkinson. I have yet to hear back. As I noted earlier, he may just have too much going on right now to deal with this and we may not get an answer until after the vote. I have also consulted with a lawyer about whether his family has the option of taking this money. The first one told me that he did have that option, but we did not end up working together because his fee was way out of my price range. So, I have reached out to another campaign finance lawyer recommended by a friend and am waiting for a 2nd opinion. If there are any lawyer fees, those fees will come out of my pocket, not out of the fund. All of the money provided by GoFundMe will go to the Kavanaugh family or a charity of their choice. When I know more, I will make sure to update the page. Additionally, if you have any questions that aren't answered here, you can reach me at rightwingnews -at- gmail.com or on Twitter .
Update #8: Unfortunately, in the last day there have been a lot of horrible human beings smearing the judge and saying grotesque things in the comments. I don't want his family exposed to that and realistically, since I am the only person with access to the account, I cannot effectively moderate it 24x7. Also, after discussing this issue with GoFundMe, I was told that there is no option to allow only people that have donated to comment. With that in mind, I will have to turn the comments off. I hate to do that, but it seems like the best option. On the upside, GoFundMe did tell me that they can, "provide a spreadsheet of all the comments actual donors left before this point should they want to read those that are supportive. " So, if you want to leave a private comment, the judge's family will still see it.
Update #9: I have now talked to a staffer for the judge who has told me that they are aware of the GoFundMe. She was extremely appreciative of all the support people have been giving the judge, but did also say, quite understandably, that it may be a little while before we get an answer on this with everything that's going on. I told her that was absolutely fine and that the money would be here when they're ready to decide how to handle it, which I assume will be after the vote.
Update #10: Assuming Judge Kavanaugh is confirmed to the Supreme Court today, I plan to close the GoFundMe. At that point, we'll just be waiting for word from the judge's family on how he wants to handle all this. Once I get that information and any message from the judge's family that they want passed on, I will update here.
Update #11: As I have noted, Kavanaugh's staff is aware of this GoFundMe and is grateful for the contributions. At this point, we are just waiting for the Kavanaugh family to make a decision on what to do with the money. Keep in mind that after the vote, he probably took a couple of days to just soak it in. He has also had preparations for starting on the Supreme Court to deal with and it would not surprise me if they need to consult with a lawyer and an accountant before they make a decision. Because of that, it may still take a little while before we get a decision. I promise to keep you updated and all the money is still sitting there and waiting for them. None has been or will be withdrawn until they decide what they want to do.
Update #12: I have been in contact with a representative of the Kavanaugh family and one of the judge's clerks. Once they send me what they want to do in writing, which should be in the next couple of days, I will pass on a message from the family, talk with GoFundMe and announce their decision.