Senate panel seeks ‘all records’ of payouts for lawmakers’ alleged misdeeds


Two members of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Ethics sent a letter Friday to the Office of Compliance requesting all of their records on claims of impropriety, a move that follows a series of allegations against current members of Congress.

The letter, signed by committee Chairman Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Vice Chairman Christopher A. Coons, D-Del., requested “all records” that are “related to any claims of sexual harassment, discrimination, retaliation, or any other employment practice prohibited by the CAA involving alleged conduct by any current Member, officer, or employee of the Senate.”

According the letter, “sexual harassment or employment discrimination” are not permitted in accordance with federal law and Senate rules.

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It also noted the committee’s authority to have access to records and investigate any claims of “improper conduct” that may violate the regulations of the House and Senate and “discipline” those who are found to be out of order.

The CAA, or The Congressional Accountability Act of 1995, “prohibits harassment and discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age or disability.” It also said it “prohibits ‘disparate impact’ on an employee on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, or religion, despite appearing neutral in practice,” according to the letter.

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The formal request for records comes after a number of lawmakers, including Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., and Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., have faced allegations of impropriety.

The Senate and House Ethics Committees have both launched investigations into Franken and Conyers and both men have faced calls for them to step down from their positions.

Franken has been accused by at least five women of inappropriate touching, including a Los Angeles radio personality who claimed he groped her during a 2006 USO tour.

At least three women have come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against Conyers, some of which reportedly happened in the workplace.

In a press conference Friday, Conyer’s attorney, Arnold Reed, said the congressman “will continue to defend himself until the cows come home” but added that he is weighing whether or not to remain in his seat.

Conyers, 88, was admitted to the hospital Thursday for a stress-related illness and Reed said “his health is not the best.” But he added that Conyers will ultimately decide on the future. “It is not going to be Washington,” he said.

Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/12/01/senate-panel-seeks-all-records-payouts-for-lawmakers-alleged-misdeeds.html