CNN and Washington Post are working on exposing "20-30 congressional members" for sexual harassment, claims Michael Trujillo, former LA City Commissioner and Hillary Clinton's California Field Director during her 2008 bid for the White House.
Former Wall St. Journal reporter Neil King adds to Trujillo's figure, saying he hears the number "may top 40"
Hearing the total may top 40. https://t.co/SIRQ9B4YLE— Neil King (@NKingofDC) December 7, 2017
Trujillo - a political advisor who has worked on over 39 political and legislative campaigns across the country, and was dubbed part of the "Clinton's Dream Team" by MSNBC, made the claim late last week. If true, this would implicate over 10% of male members of congress - unless woman are on the list - which, in any event, would likely lead to a massive self-draining of at least part of the swamp.
Rep Al Franken (D-MN)
Word of the potential new allegations comes on the heels of several high profile retirements in the wake of sexual misconduct claims. Last Thursday, Senator Al Franken announced his resignation:
Franken denied the validity of the eight allegations against him, stating "some of the allegations against me are simply not true. Others I remember differently."
The day before Franken announced his resignation, 88-year-old Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) "retired" as the longest serving House member and founding member of the Black Caucus. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi had encouraged the House Ethics Cmte to "proceed expeditiously" as it investigates accusations against Conyers. The review began after reports Conyers reached a $27k settlement with a former aide who said she was fired for rejecting his sexual advances; since then, Conyers has been accused of harassment by other women. Conyers has acknowledged the settlement but denied sexual harassment claims.
Republican Congressman Trent Franks (R-AZ) also announced his resignation last week while under threat of an ethics probe for a sexual harassment allegation lodged by a woman in his office after Franks who says he offered her $5 million to be a surrogate mother for his children, and that she and another female employee were worried that he wanted to have sex as a means of impregnating them.
Andrea Lafferty, the executive director of the Traditional Values Coalition, said that one of the women approached by Mr. Franks told her about the encounter last year, and said that Mr. Franks entreated her repeatedly to be a surrogate mother, at one point offering $5 million.
“She rebuffed him many times,” Ms. Lafferty said. -NYT
The allegations against Franks caused Speaker Paul Ryan to meet with him and ask for his resignation.
NEW: House Speaker Paul Ryan says he met with Trent Franks Wednesday about allegations he found `serious and requiring action.' Told him he should resign. (Franks in earlier statement says he spoke to two female staffers about being surrogate moms) pic.twitter.com/j5mDJVbfnW
— Laura Litvan (@LauraLitvan) December 7, 2017
Meanwhile, Senator and former Clinton running mate Tim Kaine (D-VA) thinks Franken's resignation sets a new precedent. As Vanity Fair notes:
Given that Congress’s Office of Compliance—the only recourse staffers have to report abuse—is all but explicitly designed to protect lawmakers, a reckoning over sexual harassment on Capitol Hill is long overdue. Democrats, unlike Republicans, are mostly cheering the sea change, even as some wonder whether Franken’s resignation may have set a harsh new precedent. “This does establish a new standard for this body,” Senator Tim Kaine told reporters on Thursday. “And that standard is: behavior before you were elected is fair game for determining whether you should be here.” He added, “If that’s the standard, we have to be committed to trying to apply that in an evenhanded way.”
An interesting comment by Kaine... Now that the Russiagate investigation appears to be stalling out and Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team revealed to be highly politicized and stacked with several anti-Trump investigators, it's apparently time for the President's enemies to shift the narrative again - as several Trump accusers are holding a press conference Monday morning to call for a congressional investigation into sexual misconduct.
NEW: Women who have publicly accused President Trump of sexual harassment and assault will speak at a news conference, hosted by @bravenewfilms, Monday at 10:30 a.m. ET. The women are calling for an investigation by Congress of sexual misconduct by the president. pic.twitter.com/MSPevMF0os— CBS News (@CBSNews) December 11, 2017
The women are uniting for the first time to demand the probe and share details of their allegations against the President, according to the release. The press conference will be hosted by a documentary group that previously released a film about allegations against Trump.
Eight Trump Accusers
The President has denied the allegations, while the White House said in October that its official position is that all of the women are lying. Trump called the allegations "total fiction" when they emerged in October, 2016 - weeks before the election - the first such claims against Trump in his 50 year career.
"These are stories that are made up, these are total fiction. You'll find out that, in the years to come, these women that stood up, it was all fiction," Trump said. "They were made up. I don't know these women, it's not my thing to do what they say."
So - it appears we're in for quite the show; with CNN and WaPo rumored to have 20-40 stories in the works against members of congress, while a gaggle of Trump accusers assemble to rehash claims which first surfaced weeks before the 2016 election. Time for more popcorn and a barrage of very angry Trump tweets.