In her appearance before U.S. senators on Thursday, Christine Blasey Ford was asked how she would pay for the polygraph test that was administered and handle other costs associated with her testimony against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
"I'm aware that there's been several GoFundMe sites," Blasey Ford told Rachel Mitchell, the Arizona prosecutor who was hired to ask questions on behalf of Republican senators. "I haven't had a chance to figure out how to manage those because I've never had one."
GoFundMe, a crowdfunding website that allows anyone to start a fundraising effort, is hosting 13 campaigns related to Blasey Ford, according to a search on the site using her name. Most of them haven't gotten much response, though they picked up after the topic was raised.
However, the top two campaigns have reeled in more than half a million dollars for Blasey Ford, a professor of psychology and statistics at Palo Alto University in California.
The fundraising effort that's raised the most money brought in over $320,000 from over 6,400 people as of mid-day Thursday, blowing past its original goal of $150,000. The campaign for her "immediate security and personal expenses" is "sponsored by her neighbors and colleagues," and named the Ford family as the sole beneficiary.
Blasey Ford is in Washington, D.C., on Thursday to testify, after she came forward to tell her story of being sexually assaulted by Kavanaugh as a teenager in 1982. Kavanaugh's testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee will follow Blasey Ford's appearance. Kavanaugh has denied all the allegations against him.
Another GoFundMe campaign raised almost $210,000 from over 6,600 people to cover security costs for Blasey Ford, who has moved out of her house due threats against her and her family. The description, which has 29,000 shares on Facebook, begins:
Due to death threats, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford (who uses "Dr. Blasey" professionally) and her family have had to leave their residence and arrange for private security. Let's create a fund to cover her security expenses, to do just a bit to make it easier for women in her position to come forward despite great risks. If we raise more than Dr. Blasey needs, extra funds will go to women's organizations and/or into an account to cover similar costs incurred in comparable situations.
The campaign was created on Sept. 18, with a goal of raising $175,000, and stopped accepting donations on Sept. 20. The creator of the campaign said, "I am working with Dr. Blasey Ford and her representatives to ensure a responsible transfer of funds."
During a break after Blasey Ford's testimony, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), one of Kavanaugh's most outspoken advocates, told reporters: "I don't know who paid for her polygraph but somebody did."
Blasey Ford's lawyer said during the testimony that her legal team is working on a pro bono basis and that they paid for the polygraph test, "as is routine."
One of the GoFundMe pages mentioning Blasey Ford was for an campaign, called "We Believe Women," which raised over $46,000 to take out a full-page newspaper ad.