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Democratic women unite on demand to investigate Trump

Democratic women unite on demand to investigate Trump
© Greg Nash

Nearly all of the women in the House Democratic Caucus on Tuesday called for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to investigate allegations that President TrumpDonald TrumpFacebook temporarily bans ads for weapons accessories following Capitol riots Sasse, in fiery op-ed, says QAnon is destroying GOP Section 230 worked after the insurrection, but not before: How to regulate social media MORE engaged in sexual misconduct before winning the White House.

By late in the day, more than half of the 193-member Democratic caucus had gone on record as supporting a congressional probe into accusations against Trump that surfaced during the 2016 presidential race.

The push gave Democratic women another chance to flex their muscle, having already introduced legislation to overhaul Capitol Hill’s harassment policies and pushed to oust male colleagues accused of sexual harassment.

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House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiMissouri woman seen with Pelosi sign charged in connection with Capitol riots Boebert communications director resigns amid Capitol riot: report Revising the pardon power — let the Speaker and Congress have voices MORE (D-Calif.) endorsed the effort against Trump.

“I don’t think that a person who has been a sexual harasser should be president of the United States but there is — hopefully the committee will do the investigation,” Pelosi told reporters in the Capitol.

The Republican chairman of the Oversight Committee, Rep. Trey GowdyTrey GowdyThe Hunter Biden problem won't go away Sunday shows preview: Joe Biden wins the 2020 election Sunday shows preview: Election integrity dominates as Nov. 3 nears MORE (S.C.), said he would not pursue such an investigation.

Gowdy acknowledged that the allegations outlined in the Democrats’ letter would amount to crimes and said he is sending a copy to the Justice Department, “albeit with the understanding the Department does not have jurisdiction over state law violations.”

“This Committee, nor any other Committee of Congress, does not, and cannot, prosecute crimes,” Gowdy wrote in a response to the letter, which was spearheaded by Rep. Lois FrankelLois Jane FrankelHow Congress dismissed women's empowerment Frankel defeats Loomer in Florida House race Live updates: Democrats seek to extend House advantage MORE (D-Fla.). “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.”

But the push served as a rallying cry for Democrats eager to demonstrate their intolerance for sexual harassment.

When asked if the Oversight Committee should prioritize investigating the allegations against Trump if Democrats win back the House next year, Frankel replied: “Yes.”

Rep. Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsHouse Democrats reintroduce bill to reduce lobbyist influence Trump voters and progressives have a lot in common — and Biden can unite them We must act on lowering cost of prescription drugs MORE (Md.), the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee who would likely become chairman if Democrats win the chamber next year, endorsed the push to investigate Trump.

“It is extremely hard for Republicans to argue that Congress should ignore these multiple allegations,” Cummings said in a statement.

Frankel pointed to the Whitewater probe during the Clinton administration as an example of Congress investigating allegations against presidents that occurred before they took office.

“ ‘Me Too’ is saying loud and clear that accusations of sexual abuse should be taken seriously,” said Frankel, the chair woman of the Democratic Women’s Working Group.

More than 50 Democratic men also signed on to the letter, bringing the total of signatories to more than 100 and counting. 

The allegations against Trump have been gaining fresh attention in light of the sexual harassment scandals plaguing other politicians and media figures.

On Monday, three women who accused Trump of sexual misconduct during the campaign reemerged, calling on Congress to open an investigation into their allegations and those of at least 14 other women.

 Trump has denied the allegations and insists he doesn’t know the accusers.

“Despite thousands of hours wasted and many millions of dollars spent, the Democrats have been unable to show any collusion with Russia — so now they are moving on to the false accusations and fabricated stories of women who I don’t know and/or have never met. FAKE NEWS!” Trump tweeted on Tuesday morning.

People magazine on Tuesday responded by publishing a photo of him with Natasha Stoynoff, who alleged that Trump pushed her against a wall and forcibly kissed her.

Trump also went after Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandDemocrats looking to speed through Senate impeachment trial With Senate at stake, Georgia is on all our minds Build trust in vaccines by investing in community workers MORE (D-N.Y.), who called on him to resign over the sexual misconduct allegations. He tweeted that Gillibrand “would come to my office ‘begging’ for campaign contributions not so long ago (and would do anything for them),” which Democrats interpreted as sexual innuendo. 

“You cannot silence me or the millions of women who have gotten off the sidelines to speak out about the unfitness and shame you have brought to the Oval Office,” Gillibrand tweeted back.

With sexual misconduct accusations mounting against their own colleagues, the female lawmakers argued that Trump shouldn’t be exempt from scrutiny.

In the last week alone, three men — Reps. John ConyersJohn James ConyersBottom line Biden's immigration plan has serious problems Tlaib wins Michigan Democratic primary MORE Jr. (D-Mich.) and Trent FranksHarold (Trent) Trent FranksArizona New Members 2019 Cook shifts 8 House races toward Dems Freedom Caucus members see openings in leadership MORE (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenHarrison seen as front-runner to take over DNC at crucial moment The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Trump, Biden clash over transition holdup, pandemic plans The Hill's Morning Report - Fearing defeat, Trump claims 'illegal' ballots MORE (D-Minn.) — have resigned or announced their resignation from Congress due to allegations of sexual harassment.

Rep. Blake FarentholdRandolph (Blake) Blake FarentholdThe biggest political upsets of the decade Members spar over sexual harassment training deadline Female Dems see double standard in Klobuchar accusations MORE (R-Texas) is under investigation by the House Ethics Committee for allegedly sexually harassing a female staffer, while Rep. Ruben KihuenRuben Jesus KihuenRep. Steven Horsford wins Democratic House primary in Nevada Members spar over sexual harassment training deadline Nevada Dem sanctioned for sexual misconduct announces city council bid MORE (D-Nev.) is accused of sexually harassing a female aide who worked on his 2016 campaign.

Female Democrats got ahead of their own leadership in demanding that Conyers and Franken resign. Rep. Kathleen RiceKathleen Maura RiceTrust between lawmakers reaches all-time low after Capitol riots Trump's Georgia call triggers debate on criminal penalties Georgia district attorney says she will 'enforce the law without fear or favor' following Trump call MORE (D-N.Y.), who signed Tuesday’s letter, was the first Democrat to urge Conyers to resign, while a group of female Senate Democrats were the first to push Franken out.

“We cannot ignore the multitude of women who have come forward with accusations against Mr. Trump. With that said, the president should be allowed to present evidence in his own defense,” the Democrats wrote in the letter.