News & Politics

Sen. Gardner Says His Wife Got Graphic Text of Beheading After Kavanaugh Vote

Sen. Gardner Says His Wife Got Graphic Text of Beheading After Kavanaugh Vote
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 23: Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., talks with reporters in Dirksen Building on August 23, 2018. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call) (CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

Colorado Senator Cory Gardner became another GOP victim of “doxxing” when his wife received a text message containing a graphic video of a beheading after the vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh.

Several other senators, including  Orrin Hatch (Utah), Mike Lee (Utah) and Lindsey Graham (S.C.), were recent victims of doxxing when they had their Wikipedia pages altered to include their personal information.

It was discovered that those attacks were perpetrated by ex-Democratic staffer Jackson Cosko, who was caught by Capitol Police after using an unauthorized computer in the office of Senator Maggie Hassan.

Gardner revealed the attack on Fox News Sunday:

Late last month, Gardner received a letter from an anonymous individual apparently in Denver, alleging that Kavanaugh had “shoved” someone up against a wall “very aggressively and sexually” during an outing in 1998 in front of four witnesses. The allegation was later deemed not to be credible.

“Every victim of abuse, assault, and violence has been through an unspeakable tragedy and we need to do a better job listening to them, ensuring support is available, and fighting to end abuse of any kind,” Gardner said in a statement prior to receiving the graphic text messages. “I hope that the partisan divide we all feel today does not hinder the people that have bravely come forward.”

Kavanaugh, his wife Ashley, and his accuser Christine Blasey Ford have also all received numerous death threats in recent days.

The apparent intimidation efforts follow reports from Capitol police that the Democratic congressional aide accused of publishing the private information (known as “doxxing”) of at least three Republican lawmakers last month also allegedly threatened to leak senators’ children’s health information if a witness told anyone about his activities.

In the years leading up to the Civil War, lawmakers from both parties used to come armed to the House and Senate chambers. Actual violence broke out when the nephew of an aggrieved southern senator beat  Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner senseless as he sat in his seat on the Senate floor.

We’re not there yet. But the “mystic chords of memory” that have united this country have become dissonant and discordant. The threats, intimidation, bullying tactics, and outright attacks on Republicans are a direct result of a conscious strategy by the political opposition to silence dissent and smother alternative voices.

This is not politics as usual. There is nothing “usual” about it. And those who are ginning up hysteria against Trump and the Republicans know exactly what they’re doing.

Will it take a political tragedy to alter our course? The creators of this atmosphere are banking on tragedy, hoping for it. They will profit from the resulting chaos by gaining power.

Then, the reckoning.