Two journalists caused great embarrassment for The New York Times this week when they published a new, unsubstantiated “bombshell” allegation against Brett Kavanaugh that largely had to be walked back. But their new anti-Kavanaugh book contains other claims that are more believable: namely, that Kavanaugh’s primary accuser received the help and sympathy of Big Tech moguls.
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and other Silicon Valley elites helped Christine Blasey Ford during Kavanaugh’s nomination fight, according to the new anti-Kavanaugh book by New York Times authors Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly. The authors also admit at the end of the book that Ford’s friend, Leland Keyser, had “no confidence” in her story, Breitbart reports.
Book: Silicon Valley helped Kavanaugh accuser
According to the book, The Education of Brett Kavanaugh, released Tuesday, Sandberg advised Ford to hire an attorney before she went public with allegations that Kavanaugh assaulted her when they were high school students in the 1980s. Through her sister, the Facebook mogul even sent Ford’s friend a list of attorneys specializing in cases like Ford’s, The Washington Examiner reported.
And Sandberg wasn’t the only one to offer up help. LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman and Mark Pincus, founder of video game company Zynga, provided Ford with jet travel to Washington, D.C. to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Both men are Democratic donors who backed campaigns for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
According to the book, Ford’s friends “canvassed a small group of local wealthy residents” for transportation and the Big Tech leaders volunteered their private jet. They said that they wanted Ford to “have a chance to air her information.”
A shared motive?
For her part, Sandberg, the founder of LeanIn.org, is a feminist activist whose support for abortion is widely shared in left-leaning Silicon Valley. She donated $1 million to Planned Parenthood this summer, according to Live Action — and it looks like she’s not the only one who’s pro-choice.
On the advice of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Ford hired Debra Katz, a lawyer specializing in whistleblowing. And according to Fox News, Katz admitted in a speech this year that “part of what motivated Christine” was a belief that her testimony would help protect abortion rights.
“In the aftermath of these hearings, I believe that Christine’s testimony brought about more good than the harm misogynist Republicans caused by allowing Kavanaugh on the court,” Katz said at the University of Baltimore’s 11th Feminist Legal Theory Conference. “He will always have an asterisk next to his name. When he takes a scalpel to Roe v. Wade, we will know who he is, we know his character, and we know what motivates him, and that is important. It is important that we know, and that is part of what motivated Christine.”
Bombshell: Ford’s friend didn’t believe her
Ford’s allegation that Kavanaugh assaulted her at a suburban party in Maryland was never corroborated. At the end of the book, Pogebrin and Kelly quietly admit that Ford’s friend, Leland Keyser, did not believe her story — but the authors said their “gut” convinced them that Ford was being truthful, according to a review of the book by The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway.
Keyser was one of four witnesses who Ford said were at the party, none of whom attested to being at the gathering. “Those facts together I don’t recollect, and it just didn’t make any sense,” Keyser told the authors, according to the New York Post.
More shocking: Ford’s friends pressured Keyser into supporting Ford, even threatening to defame her as a drug addict if she did not comply. In a group text between friends of Ford, one person suggested, “Perhaps it makes sense to let everyone in the public know what her condition is. Just a thought.”
“I was told behind the scenes that certain things could be spread about me if I didn’t comply,” Keyser told the Times reporters.
The new book was released amid controversy over Pogebrin and Kelly’s widely panned preview article, which claimed that Max Stier, a classmate of Kavanaugh’s, saw Kavanaugh expose himself to a female classmate at a drunken dorm party at Yale. The story fell apart with a little fact-checking from Hemingway, who noticed that the article did not mention an important detail included in the book: that the alleged victim had no recollection of the incident.
Pogebrin and Kelly threw their editors under the bus amid the backlash, saying that the detail had been included in a draft but removed later.
Now, President Donald Trump has called for everyone involved in the “smear” story to resign. Indeed, the more that comes out about what really happened behind the scenes last year, it looks more like a political set up.