News & Politics

Who Even Is Edward Whelan, the Author of That Ridiculous Conspiracy Theory?

Whelan in 2010. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Conservative lawyer Edward Whelan catapulted himself into the news Thursday after circulating a baseless conspiracy theory claiming that Christine Blasey Ford could have misremembered her alleged assaulter. On a Twitter thread that quickly went viral, Whelan argued that Ford could have mixed up Supreme Court hopeful Brett Kavanaugh with another Georgetown Prep classmate. He’s since issued a tweet apologizing.

Yet the theory garnered mass national attention and even a segment on Friday morning’s Fox & Friends. But Whelan isn’t some anonymous conspiracy internet troll—he’s a longtime fixture of the Washington GOP political machine. Here’s the lowdown on the controversial figure’s District connections:

Job: President of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, blogger at National Review

Government Connections: Friend of the Federalist Society and Leonard Leo, assisted in advising on Kavanaugh’s confirmation team, former law clerk for Antonin Scalia in early ’90s, general counsel to Senate Judiciary in the ’90s, advisor to White House counsel in Bush Administration from ’01-’04, reportedly a close friend of Kavanaugh

Education: Harvard Law School, graduated 1985

Neighborhood: Tara-Leeway Heights in Arlington, far away from the “city plagued by gun violence” Kavanaugh grew up in, aka Bethesda.


Staff Writer

Brittany Shepherd covers the societal and cultural scene in political Washington. Before joining Washingtonian as a staff writer in 2018, Brittany was a White House Correspondent for Independent Journal Review. While she has lived in DC for a number of years now, she still yearns for the fresh Long Island bagels of home. Find her on Twitter, often prattling on about Frasier.