Fox News's Ed Henry claims without evidence that protesters at Kavanaugh's Supreme Court hearing were paid to be there

Screenshot/Fox NewsFox News correspondent Ed Henry
  • Fox News correspondent Ed Henry reported on Wednesday, without citing evidence, that demonstrators at the Senate’s public hearings for Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh were paid to protest.
  • Henry was likely referring to a report by a supporter of President Donald Trump who said he saw a protest organiser hand cash to a demonstrator. The organiser said the money was meant to cover bail fees.
  • Many progressive groups organising the demonstrations have helped protesters pay for travel, accommodation in Washington, and bail for those who are arrested.

Fox News correspondent Ed Henry reported without citing evidence on Wednesday that demonstrators at the Senate’s public hearings for Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh were paid to protest.

“People waiting on line to sit in on the hearings are saying they have seen others get paid cash to wait on line and cause trouble,” Henry said on Sean Hannity’s show on Wednesday night.

The veteran journalist did not cite the source of the allegations or explain how Fox gathered the information, and did not mention that many progressive groups organising the hearing protests are covering the $US35-$US50 bail fees incurred by demonstrators who have been arrested.

It’s likely that Henry was referring to claims made by Adam Schindler, a Texas-based supporter of President Donald Trump and digital strategy consultant who tweeted a photo of a man he said was handing cash to a protester. The next day, Schindler added that he spoke with the protest organiser, who “confirmed handing out cash, but said they intend cash to be used to pay fines they know come when protestors break the law.”

Schindler’s tweets were picked up on Wednesday by the Russian government-funded outlet Russia Today, the right-wing conspiracy site Infowars, and Real Clear Politics, a right-leaning news outlet.

Kavanaugh’s hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which began on Wednesday morning, have been consistently interrupted by protesters, dozens of whom have been arrested.

Progressive groups like Planned Parenthood, the Women’s March, and the Center for Popular Democracy have been planning the protests for weeks, according to CNN, and have organised volunteers to sit in on the hearings, participate in evening vigils on Capitol Hill, and write letters to lawmakers.

Many of the groups have helped volunteers cover the costs of travelling to Washington and the fees associated with being arrested.

Winnie Wong, a senior adviser to the Women’s March, told CNN on Thursday that the group has paid for members’ travel, accommodations in Washington, legal training, and bail.

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