This was at least the third time a Twitter user had “doxed” Ford — posted her personal information online — since she revealed her identity to The Washington Post and accused President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee of sexual assault.
Within hours of coming forward, Ford faced attacks on her privacy and credibility, confirming the fears she had expressed about what would happen if she went public and echoing the backlash faced by other accusers in the #MeToo era.
Kavanaugh, a federal judge and married father of two, has strongly denied the allegations, saying in a statement he has “never done anything like what the accuser describes.” He has agreed to testify under oath before a congressional committee Monday.
Ford has not committed to testify. In a letter late Tuesday to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley (R), Ford’s attorneys said that she wants the FBI to investigate the incident first, and that “her worst fears have materialized” as a result of her coming forward.
“She has been the target of vicious harassment and even death threats,” they wrote. “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.”
In Washington, criticism of Ford has centered primarily on her credibility and concerns that Kavanaugh could be permanently tainted by a false allegation.
Kavanaugh’s supporters have raised questions about her motives, pointing to her status as a registered Democrat and her decision to hire an attorney while her story was still a secret. Others have highlighted details that are missing from Ford’s account of the alleged assault, including the date of the party and the exact location where it took place.
“The problem is, Dr. Ford can’t remember when it was, where it was, or how it came to be,” Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Tex.) told reporters at the Capitol on Tuesday. “There are some gaps there that need to be filled.”
Influential conservatives outside Congress have also aggressively questioned Ford’s account.
The opinion pages of the Wall Street Journal included three pieces skeptical of her story on Tuesday. One called it a “calculated political ambush.”
“This is a case of an alleged teenage encounter . . . brought forward to ruin Mr. Kavanaugh’s reputation for partisan purposes,” the editorial stated.
Carrie Severino, a top official with the conservative Judicial Crisis Network, which is planning to launch a $1.5 million television ad campaign in support of Kavanaugh, questioned Ford’s description of the alleged incident as an attempted rape.
The accusations “cover a whole range of conduct, from boorishness to rough horseplay to actual attempted rape,” Severino told CNN. “I’m saying that the behavior she describes could describe a whole range of things.”
Elsewhere, particularly online, the questioning has veered into more vicious territory — and claimed other casualties.
A little-known online media outlet, Grabien News, published a story that mistook Ford, a professor at Palo Alto University, for Christine A. Ford, a former professor at California State University at Fullerton. The piece quoted what it said were poor online reviews of Christine A. Ford’s teaching by students between 2010 and 2014.
Before it was retracted on Monday, the story went viral, fueled by tweets from the Drudge Report and conservative media host Laura Ingraham, whose former executive producer runs Grabien News.
Reached by phone, Christine A. Ford acknowledged that the last few days had been difficult for her and said that she had hired a lawyer. She declined to say whether she had faced any threats. “I’m not a public figure, and I don’t have that expectation of being run through the press,” she said.
Her attorney, Marc Cohen, said she was considering her legal options. “My client is embarrassed and humiliated as a result of reckless reporting simply because she has a similar name as someone prominent in the news,” he said.
Another story that took off on Twitter related to Kavanaugh’s mother, a state judge in Maryland, who was once involved in a foreclosure case against Christine Blasey Ford’s parents.
The connection “could explain motive or fuel conspiracy,” conservative columnist Eric Erickson tweeted Monday.
Lawyers for Ford said in a statement that she had “no knowledge” of the case until this week and that Kavanaugh’s mother made a ruling that was favorable to Ford’s parents.
Meanwhile, Ford has erased any social media presence from the Internet. A spokeswoman for Palo Alto University confirmed she is still employed there, though her name and contact information no longer appear on the school’s website.
Ford has received a flood of supportive messages since The Post reported her identity Sunday, according to a person close to her, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive matter. But she has also faced a stream of harassing messages and threats.
“No one believes you,” one message said. “Karma is a [expletive] and it will be visiting you very very soon.”
Ford and her family have moved out of their home as a security precaution, and she and her husband are staying apart from their two children. “She’s spending her time trying to figure out the logistics of her life as it is now and how to keep herself and her family safe,” the person said.
Twitter spokesman Ian Plunkett declined to say whether the site suspended any accounts or deleted any tweets for revealing personal information about Ford. “If we receive reports of violations, we will take action where appropriate,” he said.
As of Tuesday evening, the Twitter account posting Ford’s address was still active, and another account had posted what it said was an aerial photo of Ford’s house.
Anita Hill, who accused Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment during his confirmation process in 1991, has said the experience and attention profoundly affected her life. “I’ve had my life turned upside down,” Hill told John Oliver on his HBO show in July.
In the interview with The Post, Ford said she hesitated to speak publicly because she anticipated that her life would be upended and that Kavanaugh could be confirmed regardless. “Why suffer through the annihilation if it’s not going to matter?” she said.
Emma Brown, Robert Costa and Alice Crites contributed to this report.