South Bend, Ind. mayor Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign is returning donations to two lawyers who represented Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearing, the campaign announced Wednesday.
Kavanaugh faced a brutal confirmation hearing following accusations by Christine Blasey Ford that Kavanaugh had forced himself on her during a party when the two were teenagers, a story that a friend of Ford’s later claimed “didn’t make any sense.” The justice was eventually confirmed despite steep Democratic opposition.
The Guardian revealed that Washington-based attorney Alexandra Walsh had donated $7,200 to the campaign, some of which was already returned because it exceeded donation limits. Walsh’s law partner Beth Wilkinson had also contributed $2,800.
When the paper reached out to the campaign for comment, the campaign responded it had made a mistake in accepting the donations.
“With nearly 700,000 donors, a contribution we would otherwise refuse sometimes gets through,” the campaign told the Guardian in a statement. “We believe the women who have courageously spoken out about Brett Kavanaugh’s assault and misconduct, and we thank the Guardian for bringing this contribution to our attention.”
Walsh and Wilkinson had argued Kavanaugh was the victim of an “outrageous” smear campaign. Wilkinson has donated $1,000 to Senator Kamala Harris’s (D., Calif.) presidential campaign, and contributed $2,800 to Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) before she dropped out of the presidential race.
A spokesperson for the Buttigieg campaign said Kavanaugh “should have never been put on the supreme court and this campaign will not accept donations from those who played a role in making that happen.”