allegations of sexual harassment, embattled freshman Democratic Rep.
Ruben Kihuen vowed he will not resign from his post, despite calls
from Democratic leaders that he step aside.
Kihuen is digging in with a shocking allegation of his own, taking aim
at the leaders of his own party. In an interview with ABC News,
Kihuen, D-Nev., said party leaders knew last year about a former
campaign staffer’s allegations of misconduct but stood by his campaign
nonetheless. Kihuen questioned why they are calling for his
resignation now, more than a year later.
do find it interesting that the DCCC, Leader [Nancy] Pelosi and
Chairman Ben Ray Lujan -- they knew about these allegations last
year,” Kihuen said. “They looked into them. They didn't find anything,
and they continued investing millions of dollars in my campaign. They
went out there and campaigned for me.”
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, the chairman of
the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, who are both
demanding Kihuen’s resignation, adamantly deny knowing about the
allegations against Kihuen before BuzzFeed published a report last
this is not the case. Leader Pelosi first learned of these allegations
from BuzzFeed last week,” Drew Hammill, a spokesman for Pelosi, said.
Kihuen’s statement is not true,” Meredith Kelly, DCCC communications
director, said. “We were presented with these disturbing facts for the
first time last week, and the chair immediately called for his
been abundantly clear that anyone that is guilty of sexual harassment
or sexual assault, that they don't deserve to hold public office at
any level, and I continue to hold that position,” Lujan, D-N.M., said.
former Kihuen campaign aide, known only as “Samantha,” told a
mid-level aide at the DCCC she had quit her job because then-candidate
Kihuen made her “uncomfortable,” BuzzFeed reported last week. Another
DCCC aide later brought the matter to Kihuen campaign manager Dave
Chase, who confronted Kihuen about the complaint, though Kihuen denied
it, according to BuzzFeed. Chase told BuzzFeed that he thinks Kihuen
lied to him and he believes the victim, who alleges Kihuen
propositioned her for dates and sex.
DCCC did not launch an investigation at the time, sources indicate,
because the victim initially did not provide the level of detail
exposed in the BuzzFeed investigation.
records show the DCCC spent at least $3.15 million in the race.
Sources insist the campaign committee would not have proceeded with
its financial support of Kihuen’s general election campaign if they
had known the scope of the allegations, first detailed by BuzzFeed on
not resigning,” Kihuen, 37, said outside his office on Capitol Hill on
Tuesday. “I plan on continuing the job that I was elected to do by the
people of the 4th congressional district.”
Kihuen spokesman did not respond to a request for documentation
supporting Kihuen’s claims about the DCCC, Pelosi and Lujan