A top Democrat has found himself in hot water after being accused of engaging in sexually suggestive behavior with six women he worked with.
It was announced on Tuesday that investigators found that California Democratic Sen. Tony Mendoza “more likely than not” engaged in behavior such as offering a 19-year-old intern at the time, Jennifer Kwart, alcohol in a hotel suite at a Democratic Party event. Daily Mail reported that Kwart had previously spoken out about her own allegations against the senator, including inviting her to a convention to the Democratic event to assist him and then trying to ply her with alcohol in 2008.
The investigation also found that Mendoza “more likely than not” suggested a young woman in a Senate fellowship take a vacation with him and rent a room in his house. He also allegedly asked several of the women invasive questions about their dating lives.
Four of the accusers worked for Mendoza, while a fifth is a lobbyist and a sixth was a Senate fellow in another office. The Los Angeles-area senator’s colleagues will be voting this week, as soon as tomorrow, on whether to censure, suspend, expel or reinstate him.
Mendoza called the investigation into these allegations “unfair and secret” and warned that any action against him by his colleagues could set a “dangerous precedent.” He also sued the Senate last week for suspending him amid the investigation.
The investigation took place over the course of two months, with lawyers interviewing 47 witnesses, including Mendoza, and reviewing available documents. The report stated that it found no instances of Mendoza being “physically aggressive” or “sexually crude,” but it said the women “understood that Mendoza was suggesting sexual contact.”
“Although none of the women reported that Mendoza explicitly threatened them or offered career benefits in exchange for sexual favors, the subordinate employees believed that complaining about his conduct could put their careers at risk,” said a three-page summary released by the Senate Rules Committee.
Democrats have been leading the charge in the “Me Too” movement, trying to use it to force powerful Republicans to step down over allegations that are often baseless. We’re glad to see that this movement has now come back to bite a top Democrat!
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