Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) angrily denied that anyone on her staff inserted personal addresses and phone numbers into Wikipedia pages for Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans during the Brett Kavanaugh hearing last week.
“Lies, lies, and more despicable lies. I am utterly disgusted by the spread of the completely false, absurd, and dangerous lies and conspiracy theories that are being peddled by ultra-right wing pundits, outlets and websites,” Waters said in a statement Saturday after one of her staff members was blamed online for the doxxing.
Home addresses and personal cellphone numbers popped up on Wikipedia pages for Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee of Utah, and Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina Thursday as each senator questioned Kavanaugh. The Supreme Court nominee was defending himself against a sexual assault accusation made by Christine Blasey Ford, who had testified earlier in the day.
The doxxing was immediately picked up by congress-edits, the social media bot that monitors Wiki edits from IP addresses assigned to the Capitol. The information was added “anonymously from the U.S. House of Representatives,” congress-edits said in a tweet that went out to more than 65,000 followers.
The right-wing Gateway Pundit posted tweets and other social media messages claiming the IP address responsible for the doxxing was linked to someone in Waters’ office.
Waters, a notably harsh critic of President Donald Trump, said Capitol Police and her own tech specialist determined that the “IP address in question does not belong to my office or anyone on my staff.”
Capitol Police did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request to comment on Waters’ statement.
Waters said false online accusations fingering a member of her staff “compromised” that individual’s privacy, identity and safety.
“My office has alerted the appropriate authorities and law enforcement entities of these fraudulent claims,” Waters said. “We will ensure that the perpetrators will be revealed, and that they will be held legally liable for all of their actions that are destructive and dangerous to any and all members of my staff.”
The doxxed senators’ personal information was quickly deleted from their Wikipedia pages.
Not all of the information posted on Wikipedia was personal information. A number listed as a home phone for Graham was actually the number for an LGBTQ advocacy organization, The Washington Post reported.
Changes also were made Thursday to the Wikipedia page on “The Devil’s Triangle,” a phrase that appeared in Kavanaugh’s entry in his high school yearbook. He testified it referred to a “drinking game.” The term also refers to threesomes. The Wikipedia addition said: “Devil’s Triangle: A popular drinking game enjoyed by the friends of Judge Kavanaugh.”