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By Kyra Haas September 20, 2018

Fact-checking False link between foreclosure case, Brett Kavanaugh sexual assault allegations

A dismissed 1996 foreclosure case against Christine Blasey Ford’s parents has joined the heap of rumors swirling around Ford’s sexual assault accusation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Ford, a California professor, went public with her accusations against Kavanaugh earlier this week, saying he sexually assaulted her at a party while the two were in high school in the early 1980s. 

"I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation," Kavanaugh said in a statement. "I did not do this back in high school or at any time."

Blogs such as America First Media Group and The Gateway Pundit have speculated about her motives, highlighting the 1996 case involving Ford’s parents and Kavanaugh’s mother.

"Christine Ford’s Parents Paula K Blasey and Ralph G Blasey were the Defendants in a foreclosure case in Maryland in 1996," The America First Media Group post said. "Guess who the Judge was America? None other than Brett Kavanaugh’s mother, Martha G Kavanaugh. You literally cannot make this up."

The blog Pacific Pundit went even further. "Martha G. Kavanaugh, the mother of Brett Kavanaugh was a Maryland district judge in 1996. In an amazing coincidence, Martha Kavanaugh was the judge in a foreclosure case in which Christine Blasey-Ford’s parents were the defendants. Now it all becomes clear," the blog wrote. "Blasey-Ford is going after Brett Kavanaugh, not because of what he did in high school. Instead, Christine Blasey-Ford is going after Brett Kavanaugh out of spite and revenge for a case rulled (sic) on by Brett Kavanaugh mother. "

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.)

According to the case information archived online, Brett Kavanaugh’s mother, Martha Kavanaugh, did preside over a foreclosure case in which Ford’s parents were defendants. However, according to the same documents, Martha Kavanaugh dismissed the case at the plaintiff’s request.

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The America First Media Group blog post includes screenshots of that same case information, which says the voluntary motion to dismiss the case was "granted with prejudice," meaning the plaintiff cannot sue over the same issue again.

In addition to court records, CBS News found the same information when reporters went to the Montgomery County Court to look into the case. They found that the Blaseys settled with their mortgage lender, and the bank requested Martha Kavanaugh dismiss the case. She did. They found no evidence that the Blaseys appeared in her courtroom.

The Gateway Pundit has since updated its story to include a tweet from a CBS reporter. The Gateway Pundit article now says, "The case was settled amicably and the Blaseys kept their house."

In a letter to the Judiciary Committee, Ford’s lawyers said she had "been the target of vicious harassment and even death threats." They said as a result of those threats, her family relocated out of their home. The letter also said Ford’s email had been hacked and she had been impersonated online.

Our ruling

Bloggers speculated that the reason Christine Blasey Ford went public with sexual assault allegations against Judge Brett Kavanaugh was because Kavanaugh’s mother presided over a foreclosure case against Christine Blasey Ford’s parents.

This line of thinking has been debunked by the Washington Examiner, the New York Times, Snopes and now, PolitiFact. The facts don’t support the accusation. Kavanaugh’s mother simply executed a settlement made by the plaintiff — a mortgage lender — and Ford’s family. 

Put simply, Kavanaugh’s mother had no effect on the outcome of the case. A dismissed foreclosure case involving Ford’s parents is an incredibly unlikely basis for a revenge-motivated sexual assault accusation 22 years later.

We rate this claim False.

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Says Brett Kavanaugh’s mother presided over foreclosure case against Christine Blasey Ford’s parents, which fueled motivation for sexual assault accusation.
in a blog post
Monday, September 17, 2018

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