POLITICS

Buttigieg Campaign To Return Donations From Lawyers Who Represented Brett Kavanaugh

One of the attorneys, Beth Wilkinson, also contributed to the campaigns of Kamala Harris, Michael Bennet and Kirsten Gillibrand.

Pete Buttigieg’s campaign said it would return contributions it received from two top Washington lawyers who represented Brett Kavanaugh during his Supreme Court confirmation hearing last year.

As first reported by The Guardian, attorney Alexandra Walsh has donated thousands of dollars to the South Bend, Indiana, mayor’s presidential campaign during the 2020 election cycle. She also co-hosted a fundraiser in July that Buttigieg attended. 

Beth Wilkinson, who also represented Kavanaugh and is a partner at Wilkinson Walsh + Eskovitz LLP, donated $2,800 ― the maximum contribution allowed by an individual ― to Buttigieg’s campaign in June. His campaign received $7,400 from Walsh between April and June, but returned $3,150 after she exceeded the maximum contribution.

Both Walsh and Wilkinson represented Kavanaugh during his tumultuous confirmation hearing in September 2018 after Christine Blasey Ford accused him of sexually assaulting her at a party when they were both in high school.

“With nearly 700,000 donors, a contribution we would otherwise refuse sometimes gets through,” Buttigieg’s campaign said 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.”

“He 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,” the statement continued. “Accordingly, we will be returning this contribution and others from this firm.”

A spokesperson for Buttigieg’s campaign said neither the candidate nor his campaign was aware of Walsh’s role on Kavanaugh’s legal team when he attended the fundraiser in July.

Neither Walsh nor Wilkinson immediately returned HuffPost’s requests for comment.

The two women have been steady supporters of Democratic committees. Wilkinson has contributed to three other Democratic presidential candidates this election cycle. In May, she gave $2,800 to Sen. Michael Bennet’s campaign and, in June, she gave $1,000 to Sen. Kamala Harris’ campaign and $2,800 to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s campaign. 

Gillibrand, viewed as one of the leaders of the Me Too reckoning on Capitol Hill, dropped out of the race a couple of months later.

Neither Harris’ nor Bennet’s campaign immediately responded to requests for comment. Gillibrand’s office did not immediately return a request for comment either.

Buttigieg and the three other Democratic presidential candidates who have received contributions from Wilkinson have been steadfast supporters of Ford and sharp critics of Kavanaugh.

In September, Buttigieg commemorated the anniversary of Ford’s testimony before Congress, calling her “a profile in courage.”

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