Gillibrand says staffer allegations did not 'rise to the level of sexual harassment'

Gillibrand says staffer allegations did not 'rise to the level of sexual harassment'

Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandOvernight Defense: Joint Chiefs chairman clashes with GOP on critical race theory | House bill introduced to overhaul military justice system as sexual assault reform builds momentum House lawmakers introduce bill to overhaul military justice system Pentagon chief backs change to military sexual assault prosecution MORE (D-N.Y.) defended her office's handling of sexual misconduct allegations made by a former staffer against a male aide, saying the accusations "did not rise to the level of sexual harassment."

“We investigated claims of sexual harassment and derogatory comments,” Gillibrand told reporters Monday. “We were able to substantiate derogatory comments and [were] not able to substantiate the sexual harassment.”


“The sexual harassment claims did not rise to the level of sexual harassment,” she added.

“We took her allegations immediately, investigated them immediately and did a professional and thorough investigation,” Gillibrand said.

A former aide to Gillibrand resigned last summer after she said an older, male colleague made unwanted advances and used degrading language, according to Politico.

The incident has cast a shadow on Gillibrand's White House bid in a crowded field that includes Sens. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisRick Scott blocks Senate vote on top cyber nominee until Harris visits border Head of Border Patrol resigning from post Migrant children face alarming conditions in US shelter: BBC investigation MORE (D-Calif.), Bernie SandersBernie SandersSenators say White House aides agreed to infrastructure 'framework' Briahna Joy Gray: Biden is keeping the filibuster to have 'a Joe Manchin presidency' On The Money: Biden to fire FHFA director after Supreme Court removes restriction | Yellen pleads with Congress to raise debt ceiling MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenSchumer vows to advance two-pronged infrastructure plan next month Overnight Health Care: CDC panel meets on vaccines and heart inflammation | Health officials emphasize vaccine is safe | Judge rules Missouri doesn't have to implement Medicaid expansion Democrats urge Biden to extend moratorium on student loan payments MORE (D-Mass.).

Gillibrand has been an advocate for reforming how institutions handle allegations of sexual harassment and assault. She was the first senator to call for the resignation of former Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenAl Franken to launch 15-stop comedy tour Democrats, GOP face crowded primaries as party leaders lose control Gillibrand: 'I definitely want to run for president again' MORE (D-Minn.) after he was accused of misconduct.