It was made public last week that Christine Blasey Ford contacted Senator Dianne Feinstein’s office with a letter accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of attempted sexual assault. Both the left and the right have criticized Feinstein for her behavior around the allegation, which she didn’t plan to make public out of respect for Ford’s anonymity, before it leaked to the press.
The story has dominated the news for the last week, focusing attention on Kavanaugh, Ford, Feinstein and other central players. Given the controversy’s high stakes, it’s sadly unsurprising to learn that Feinstein’s office has received threats of physical and sexual harm, according to McClatchy. Senator Susan Collins, a Republican who has been pressured by Democrats to vote against Kavanaugh’s nomination, says she has also received threats.
“Since the allegations about sexual assault became public, we’ve been getting a significant number of calls and emails, mostly from other parts of the country, that have been disrespectful and ugly,” a spokesman for Feinstein told McClatchy. “Calls have included threats of bodily and sexual harm against staff. Emails have come in with threats and highly offensive insults to specific staff members by name.”
“My office has received some pretty ugly voicemails, threats, terrible things said to my staff,” Collins said in an interview with WVOM. The White House says that Kavanaugh and his wife have also been targeted with threats.
But none of this is as bad as what’s happening to Ford herself. Her lawyers wrote in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee that Ford has received “vicious harassment and even death threats.” According to the New York Times, Ford’s email has been hacked and she has been impersonated online. She and her family have left their home and gone into hiding.
Ford hasn’t decided yet whether she will appear in front of the Senate next week to testify about her allegations against Kavanaugh. Most recently, she said she’d be open to testifying later in the week, but asked again for the FBI to investigate her story first.