Amid allegations of sexual harassment, embattled freshman Democratic Rep. Ruben Kihuen vowed he won’t resign from his submit, regardless of calls from Democratic leaders that he step apart.
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As an alternative, Kihuen is digging in with a surprising allegation of his personal, taking goal on the leaders of his personal social gathering. In an interview with ABC Information, Kihuen, D-Nev., stated social gathering leaders knew final yr a few former marketing campaign staffer’s allegations of misconduct however stood by his marketing campaign nonetheless. Kihuen questioned why they’re calling for his resignation now, greater than a yr later.
“I do discover it fascinating that the DCCC, Chief [Nancy] Pelosi and Chairman Ben Ray Lujan — they knew about these allegations final yr,” Kihuen stated. “They appeared into them. They did not discover something, they usually continued investing tens of millions of dollars in my marketing campaign. They went on the market and campaigned for me.”
Home Minority Chief Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Marketing campaign Committee, who’re each demanding Kihuen’s resignation, adamantly deny figuring out concerning the allegations towards Kihuen earlier than BuzzFeed revealed a report final week.
“Sadly, this isn’t the case. Chief Pelosi first discovered of those allegations from BuzzFeed final week,” Drew Hammill, a spokesman for Pelosi, stated.
“Congressman Kihuen’s assertion is just not true,” Meredith Kelly, DCCC communications director, stated. “We have been introduced with these disturbing details for the primary time final week, and the chair instantly referred to as for his resignation.”
“I have been abundantly clear that anybody that’s responsible of sexual harassment or sexual assault, that they do not deserve to carry public workplace at any degree, and I proceed to carry that place,” Lujan, D-N.M., stated.
A former Kihuen marketing campaign aide, recognized solely as “Samantha,” advised a mid-degree aide on the DCCC she had give up her job as a result of then-candidate Kihuen made her “uncomfortable,” BuzzFeed reported final week. One other DCCC aide later introduced the matter to Kihuen marketing campaign supervisor Dave Chase, who confronted Kihuen concerning the grievance, although Kihuen denied it, in accordance with BuzzFeed. Chase advised BuzzFeed that he thinks Kihuen lied to him and he believes the sufferer, who alleges Kihuen propositioned her for dates and intercourse.
The DCCC didn’t launch an investigation on the time, sources point out, as a result of the sufferer initially didn’t present the extent of element uncovered within the BuzzFeed investigation.
Marketing campaign data present the DCCC spent at the least $three.15 million within the race. Sources insist the marketing campaign committee wouldn’t have proceeded with its monetary help of Kihuen’s basic election marketing campaign if that they had recognized the scope of the allegations, first detailed by BuzzFeed on Friday.
“I am not resigning,” Kihuen, 37, stated outdoors his workplace on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. “I plan on persevering with the job that I used to be elected to do by the individuals of the 4th congressional district.”
A Kihuen spokesman didn’t reply to a request for documentation supporting Kihuen’s claims concerning the DCCC, Pelosi and Lujan.
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