Republican pushing to revoke Bill Cosby’s presidential medal

Getty Images

A House Republican will unveil legislation this week urging President Obama to strip Bill Cosby’s Presidential Medal of Freedom in the aftermath of sexual assault allegations against the comedian.

Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) has been crafting the measure since the July release of a 2005 deposition in which Cosby acknowledged using drugs on women with whom he wanted to have sexual relations.

“Cosby has admitted to drugging women in order to satisfy his sexual desires, and, therefore, the Federal government should not recognize Cosby with an honor like the Presidential Medal of Freedom,” the bill states.

{mosads}The legislation would further impose criminal penalties on anyone who publicly displays a Medal of Freedom revoked by the president, including up to a year in prison. 

Then-President George W. Bush awarded the medal to the former “Cosby Show” star in 2002. Gosar said the sexual assault allegations from more than 40 women who say the attacks occurred over decades make Cosby unfit for the nation’s highest civilian honor.

“To continue honoring Bill Cosby with this prestigious accolade would be an affront to women nationwide, particularly those who were victims of his horrific acts,” Gosar wrote in a letter to fellow lawmakers asking them to co-sponsor his bill.

Cosby was charged with aggravated indecent assault on Dec. 30, stemming from an alleged 2004 incident with a former Temple University employee in Cosby’s home. Cosby has denied the allegations.

Promoting Awareness Victim Empowerment (PAVE), a sexual assault prevention group, petitioned the White House earlier this year to rescind Cosby’s medal.

President Obama said at a news conference last July that no mechanism is in place to revoke a Medal of Freedom, saying such a move would be unprecedented. But he condemned the nature of the allegations against Cosby.

“I’ll say this. If you give a woman — or a man, for that matter — without his or her knowledge, a drug, and then have sex with that person without their consent, that’s rape,” he said.

“This country — any civilized country — should have no tolerance for rape,” Obama added.

Tags Bill Cosby Paul Gosar

The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video