Fact Check

Did Christine Blasey Ford Make a Sexual Assault Accusation Against Neil Gorsuch?

Believing this claim also requires believing that someone who tweets #Pizzagate and #Qanon conspiracy theories is a credible source of breaking news.

Published Sep 24, 2018

 (Wikipedia Commons)
Image Via Wikipedia Commons
Dr. Christine Blasey Ford made a sexual assault accusation against Justice Neil Gorsuch during his Supreme Court nomination process.

On 16 September 2018, Christine Blasey Ford identified herself publicly as the woman who wrote a confidential letter to Senator Dianne Feinstein alleging that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her in the 1980s when he was a student at Georgetown Prep.

The news immediately inspired a series of inaccurate “reporting” aimed at attacking Blasey Ford’s credibility. One such allegation which briefly went viral, despite a wholesale lack of corroborating evidence, was the claim that Blasey Ford had written a similar confidential letter regarding president Trump’s previous Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch (who also attended Georgetown Prep), and that she had posted about her idea to do so on Facebook:

This claim originated solely in two tweets (garnering over 8,000 retweets) from the Twitter account of Josh Cornett, who describes himself as “proudly blocked” by several journalists and/or political Twitter accounts. On 18 September 2018, in a series of two tweets, Cornett claimed that:

BREAKING: According to sources Diane [sic] Feinstein's reluctance to mention the Kavanaugh accuser's letter during confirmation session is because the accuser sent a similiar [sic] letter directed at Judge Gorsuch last year. The whereabouts of the earlier letter remain a mystery.developing

I was literally forwarded this information 50 minutes ago. Is it true? I have no idea..but the MSM are reporting the Kavanaugh accuser's claim with absolutely zero evidence. So let's report this story too? I will say that my source has been very accurate in the past. Let's see!

One source that has decidedly not been accurate in the past is the Twitter account of Josh Cornett, which has at various times promoted the Pizzagate conspiracy theory (which alleged a Hillary Clinton-connected pedophile sex ring run out of the basement of a DC-area pizza shop which has no basement) as well as the the #QAnon conspiracy theory (which alleges that a secret group of patriots deep within the U.S. government are communicating to their followers through riddles posted on the message board 8chan or on websites that sell t-shirts).

Cornett has also claimed that “99% of Liberal women (Kavanaugh accusers) are bitter, unattractive, Liars, and have a long history of being rejected by men,” and that he was bored by the allegations of domestic abuse made against former Trump staffer Rob Porter by both of his former wives.

As the New York Times reported, Cornett "appears to have a history of amplifying right-wing misinformation," and “there is no known letter sent by Dr. Blasey about Justice Gorsuch, or any other Supreme Court justice.” There have, however, been additional accusations against Kavanaugh since Cornett’s tweets were posted.


Brown, Emma.   "California Professor, Writer of Confidential Brett Kavanaugh Letter, Speaks Out About Her Allegation of Sexual Assault."     The Washington Post.   16 September 2018.

Sommer, Will.   "QAnon, the Crazy Pro-Trump Conspiracy, Melts Down Over OIG Report."     The Daily Beast.   19 August 2018.

Roose, Kevin.   "Debunking 5 Viral Rumors About Christine Blasey Ford, Kavanaugh’s Accuser."     The New York Times.   19 September 2018

Farrow, Ronan, and Jane Mayer.   "Senate Democrats Investigate a New Allegation of Sexual Misconduct, From Brett Kavanaugh’s College Years.”     The New Yorker.   23 September 2018.

Alex Kasprak is an investigative journalist and science writer reporting on scientific misinformation, online fraud, and financial crime.