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Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee questioned many aspects of sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh during the hearing on Sept. 27. However, the authorship of the initial letter outlining one accusation was not in dispute.
Christine Blasey Ford wrote a confidential letter to her congresswoman over the summer saying she was sexually assaulted by Kavanaugh while the two were in high school. The committee’s top Republican Sen. Charles Grassley released that letter publicly on Sept. 23. Ranking committee member Sen. Dianne Feinstein sent him the letter Sept. 20.
Some websites have questioned the letter’s legitimacy, saying Ford did not author the letter.
Ford has now testified under oath that she did.
The blog Natural News makes the claim, saying the letter contains "14 glaring errors that could only be committed by a poorly educated writer."
This story was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
Ford is a California psychology professor who says Kavanaugh assaulted her at a party in 1982.
The blog says that because Ford is an academic, grammatical errors in her letter indicate she did not write it.
Some of these "errors" in the letter nitpick word choice. The blogger points out phrases like "the two scrapped with each other" and "I feared he may inadvertently kill me" as examples of poor or odd phrasing.
Other "errors" could be due to copying procedures. An "I" toward the end of the document has a blur that makes it look lowercase. A line of text is stretched larger than other lines in the scan. The blogger points to the warp as an attempt to alter the content of the letter because that line has Kavanaugh’s name in it. Kavanaugh is named several other places in the letter without any text warping.
Another of the "errors" is that Ford uses the phrase "opportune moment." The blogger says that wording "indicates a low-level writer attempting to sound sophisticated." That’s an unfounded opinion, not an error.
This isn’t the first time Natural News has made ridiculous claims related to Ford’s credibility or motives. We gave the blog a Pants on Fire rating for a claim that Ford came forward to "protect abortion industry profits."
This isn’t any less absurd. We rate this claim Pants on Fire!
Natural News, "BOMBSHELL: Christine Blasey Ford’s letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein revealed to be a total FAKE… contains 14 glaring errors that could only be committed by a poorly educated writer," Sept. 25, 2018
U.S. Senate, "2018-09-20 Feinstein to Grassley - July 30 Letter from Ford," Sept. 20, 2018
PolitiFact, "Fact-checking internet rumors about Brett Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford," Sept. 26, 2018
USA Today, "Read Christine Blasey Ford's letter detailing the alleged assault by Brett Kavanaugh," Sept. 23, 2018
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