A tiny religious organization tied to Amy Coney Barrett, Donald Trump’s supreme court nominee, sought to erase all mentions and photos of her from its website before she meets with lawmakers and faces questions at her Senate confirmation hearings.
Barrett, a federal appeals judge, has declined to publicly discuss her decades-long affiliation with People of Praise, a Christian group that opposes abortion and holds that men are divinely ordained as the “head” of the family and faith.
Former members have said the group’s leaders teach that wives must submit to the will of their husbands.
A spokesman for the organization has declined to say whether the judge and her husband, Jesse Barrett, are members.
But an analysis by the Associated Press shows that People of Praise erased numerous records from its website during the summer of 2017 that referred to Barrett and included photos of her and her family.
At the time, Barrett was on Trump’s shortlist for the high court seat that eventually went to Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Last week, when Barrett again emerged as a frontrunner for the court, more articles, blogposts and photos disappeared.
After an AP reporter emailed the group’s spokesman on Wednesday about members of Jesse Barrett’s family, his mother’s name was deleted from the primary contact for the South Bend, Indiana, branch. All issues of the organization’s magazine, Vine and Branches, were also removed.
Sean Connolly, People of Praise’s spokesman, confirmed in an email that information was being wiped from the group’s website.
“Recent changes to our website were made in consultation with members and nonmembers from around the country who raised concerns about their and their families’ privacy due to heightened media attention,” Connolly said.
The deletions come at a time when Barrett’s background is under intense scrutiny by US senators who will