FACT CHECK: Was Kavanaugh Accuser Deborah Ramirez A Soros Fellow?

Emily Larsen | Fact Check Reporter

Blogs and people on Twitter claimed that Deborah Ramirez, who accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct when they were in college decades ago, received a fellowship tied to billionaire George Soros.

“Deborah Ramirez’s steepage in social justice warrior protocol was so ubiquitously undertaken that it earned her a 2003 mention as ‘Senior Fellow’ by George Soros’ Open Society Initiative,” read a post from The Shad Olson Show Monday. “The George Soros hits just keep coming and coming.”

“Oh, and by the way, in case you were concerned that this was purely political, Ramirez was a Soros Fellow back in 2003. George Soros is one of the largest Democratic donors in the world,” a post on Colorado Peak Politics said Sunday.

Denver radio host Michael Brown, who served in George W. Bush’s administration as the under secretary of emergency preparedness and response in the Department of Homeland Security, shared the Colorado Peak Politics post in a tweet Monday.

“New Yorker article on new Kavanaugh accuser, Deborah Ramirez, leaves out tie to George Soros,” John Fund, a columnist at the conservative National Review, said in a since-deleted tweet Monday.

Many other laypeople on Twitter repeated the claim.

Verdict: False

A law professor also named Deborah Ramirez received the Soros fellowship, not the woman who accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct at Yale.

Fact Check:

Ramirez accused Kavanaugh of exposing himself to her at a dorm room party when they were both freshmen at Yale University during the 1983-84 academic school year. The New Yorker published a story detailing the allegation Sunday night.

Soon after the allegation went public, people on message boards and social media pointed to web pages that said Deborah Ramirez was selected as a Soros Justice Senior Fellow by the Open Society Institute in 2003 (one biography says 2004).

Soros, who has donated millions of dollars to Democratic candidates and progressive organizations, is the founder and chair of the Open Society Foundations. The fellowship stipend ranged from $35,000 to $98,200 and Ramirez received the fellowship to “strengthen understanding between law enforcement and the Arab, Muslim, and Sikh communities.”

The law professor at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, who received the Soros fellowship in 2003, Deborah A. Ramirez, is not the woman who accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct. (RELATED: Did Kavanaugh’s Accuser Get Scathing Reviews On RateMyProfessors.com?)

Ramirez’s curriculum vitae shows that she earned her undergraduate degree from Northwestern University in 1977, not Yale, and graduated from Harvard Law School in 1981 – years before the alleged incident with Kavanaugh.

The New Yorker reported that the 53-year-old Ramirez who attended Yale with Kavanaugh had “spent years working for an organization that supports victims of domestic violence.” She is listed as a vice co-chair for the Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence in Boulder, Colorado. The organization issued a statement in support of Ramirez Monday.

Fund deleted his tweet about two hours after sending it and apologized for the misinformation. Colorado Peak Politics issued a correction to its post Monday morning. “If Fund can apologize, we can, too,” the correction said.

Brown noted in a tweet Monday that Deborah Ramirez was misidentified and apologized for the mistake following an inquiry from The Daily Caller News Foundation.

The Shad Olson Show did not respond to requests for comment.

UPDATE: The Shad Olson Show deleted the post about Ramirez receiving a Soros fellowship after publication of this article.

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Emily Larsen

Fact Check Reporter

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