UPDATE: September 21, 2018, 9:33 a.m. ESTEd Whelan deleted the Twitter thread on Friday after serious backlash. On Friday morning, he tweeted the following:
"I made an appalling and inexcusable mistake of judgment in posting the tweet thread in a way that identified Kavanaugh's Georgetown Prep classmate. I take full responsibility for that mistake, and I deeply apologize for it. I realize that does not undo the mistake."
The original post appears below.
This has to be a glitch in the simulation, right?
Ed Whelan, a former clerk to Justice Antonin Scalia and conservative lawyer, tried to use Zillow to prove Brett Kavanaugh's innocence and ended up going down a deep, deep rabbit hole of a conspiracy theory.
Kavanaugh, Trump's pick to fill a vacant Supreme Court seat, was accused of sexual assault by former classmate Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. Although Kavanaugh's nomination was met with resistance, calls for him to step down intensified when Ford publicly stated that he assaulted her during a high school party.
Although many people jumped to defend Kavanaugh, Whelan went way deep. Let's walk through Whelan's Twitter thread and attempt to unpack this mess.
"Dr. Ford may well have been the victim of a severe sexual assault by someone 36 years ago," Whelan writes on Twitter. "Her allegations are so vague as to such basic matters as when and where that it is impossible for Judge Kavanaugh to *prove* his innocence."
Using addresses found in a yearbook and details provided to the Washington Post, Whelan laid out four locations on Google Maps.
Then, he says he was able to locate a possible house where the alleged assault happened on Zillow, which shows the floor plan of the house.
Here is a house that is barely a half-mile from the Columbia Country Club. Street address: 3714 Thornapple Street, Chevy Chase. pic.twitter.com/RgRdv0gzyQ
— Ed Whelan (@EdWhelanEPPC) September 20, 2018
According to Whelan, Kavanaugh's classmate Chris Garrett lived in that home at the time.
Using the floor plan, Whelan reasons that Dr. Ford's account of her assault matches up with the house's layout. Then he says that because of the way the house is laid out, "someone leaving the house down the stairs and out the front door wouldn't be seen from the family room." He's casting doubt here, and suggesting it could have been anyone.
Whelan then casts more doubt by implying Chris Garrett was possibly responsible. He uses a screenshot of a sleazy Facebook interaction to prove that Garrett was friends with Mark Judge, who was allegedly in the room at the party in question.
Whelan even goes as far as to post side-by-side photos of the two men, claiming they look alike and could be easily confused. Spoiler alert: they both look like doughy bros as teenagers, and as doughy middle-aged bros now.
"Kavanaugh categorically denies being at the gathering and committing the assault," Whelan writes. "Beyond his countless character witnesses from then and now, Judge and Smyth have informed the Senate Judiciary Committee that they recall no such gathering at which Kavanaugh was present."
But then Whelan backpedals in an effort to not get sued by Garrett for, you know, publicly accusing him of assaulting Dr. Ford:
Which is lawyer speak for ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
"It is regrettable that private citizens are being drawn into this," he concludes his conspiracy thread, as if he didn't just drag a private citizen into this. "If the matter had been handled as it should have been, the Committee would have investigated the matter over the summer and resolved it privately to everyone's satisfaction without the smearing of Kavanaugh and the dragging the names of others into the public eye."
Ford dismissed Whelan's Twitter thread in a statement to the Washington Post:
His wild rollercoaster of a thread shot up to Twitter's trending list on Thursday evening and became the butt of the internet's jokes.
brb, using zillow to prove there was a second shooter on the grassy knoll
— Kevin Robillard (@Robillard) September 20, 2018
DO YOU KNOW HOW TO USE ZILLOW pic.twitter.com/RM3g3apJou
— Alex Halpern, official angry librarian (@HalpernAlex) September 20, 2018
ah we've reached the evil doppelganger I found on Zillow portion of the confirmation hearings https://t.co/YIDC3rrdbi
— Jeff Hanneken (@jeffjh14) September 20, 2018
"Now see, if you look at the Zillow photos..." pic.twitter.com/zcjFhSsNth
— Eric Fidler (@EricFidler) September 20, 2018
Using the Ed Whelan strategy, I can now proudly claim that Charles Manson had nothing to do with Sharon Tate's murder... it was for sure 1970s Kenny Loggins. pic.twitter.com/RHbHDtnDhq
— Brendan Smith (@blacksab67) September 21, 2018
To be clear, I have no idea whether Ed Whelan is QAnon, and I therefore do not state, imply or insinuate that Ed Whelan is QAnon. But they sure do sound alike, and probably live within the same general area. https://t.co/sQaF3d61An
— Ryan Goodman (@rgoodlaw) September 20, 2018
Law & Order: Zillow Floor Plan Unit pic.twitter.com/q2kUQFRgfy
— pourmecoffee (@pourmecoffee) September 20, 2018
But Whelan seems pretty adamant that he's cracked this case.
"Bottom line: I believe that a fair assessment of this evidence powerfully supports Judge Kavanaugh's categorical denial," he insists on Twitter.
Nobody tell him about the Denver airport, guys.