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Female lawmakers call for investigation into Trump sexual misconduct allegations

 (Joe Raedle / Getty Images)
(Joe Raedle / Getty Images)

A group of House Democrats on Tuesday called for an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct by President Trump.

“The #MeToo movement has arrived and sexual abuse will not be tolerated, whether it’s by a Hollywood producer, the chef of a restaurant, a member of Congress or the president of the United States,” Rep. Lois Frankel of Florida said at a news conference. “No man or woman is above the law.”

Frankel and other members of the Democratic Women's Working Group want the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to investigate claims by more than a dozen women of inappropriate behavior by Trump before he was elected. Three of the accusers on Monday asked for a congressional investigation.

A wave of allegations have been leveled against powerful men in multiple private industries and on Capitol Hill in the weeks since allegations were first made against movie producer Harvey Weinstein.

“I’m sorry, Mr. President, you do not live under a different set of rules,” said Rep. Brenda Lawrence of Michigan.

The White House has dismissed the validity of the claims, with Trump tweeting Tuesday morning that Democrats unable to prove his campaign colluded with Russia are now focused on “false accusations and fabricated stories of women who I don’t know and/or have never met.”

The letter, which had the signatures of 59 female House members when it became public, now has more than 100 signers because male Democrats signed on, Frankel said.

Such an investigation of a Republican president by a Congress controlled by his own party is unlikely.

Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the ranking Democrat on the committee, voiced his support for an investigation.

Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) responded in a letter Tuesday afternoon saying that the allegations cited by the Democrats “constitute crimes” and he is forwarding their letter to the Justice Department.

“This committee, nor any other committee of Congress, does not, and cannot, prosecute crimes,” he said in the letter. “Those alleging sexual assault or criminal sexual conduct deserve to be interviewed by law enforcement professionals, and charging decisions should be made by prosecutors based on the quantum and quality of the admissible and provable evidence.”

3:15 p.m.: This post has been updated with response from Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.).

 

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