Lawmakers seek probe into Trump's alleged sexual misconducts
Washington: Over 50 Democratic women lawmakers have sought a thorough congressional probe into the sexual misconduct allegations against President Donald Trump, saying a full inquiry into the accusations was "long overdue".
In a letter sent to Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reforms, the 54 women lawmakers who signed it noted that in the time of "Me Too", women across the US were coming forward with their own harrowing stories of sexual harassment and assault. "Members of Congress have also come under scrutiny and investigation, with some resigning, for improper sexual conduct," the letter said. "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 defence," it said.
President Trump lashed out at Democrats for targeting him with "false accusations and fabricated stories." "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. The allegations of sexual misconduct against 71-year-old Trump have received renewed attention recently after several prominent men in the worlds of politics, entertainment and
media have been accused of sexual harassment, assault and rape.
Over the past two years, about 16 women have accused Trump of making unwanted sexual advances against them prior to his assuming the presidency. Three of the Trump's accusers at a news conference yesterday demanded that the US Congress investigate their allegations against the US President. They detailed their accounts of being groped, fondled and forcibly kissed by the businessman-turned-politician. Last year, Trump dismissed the allegations as "false". He downplayed his remarks in a video that showed him making lewd remarks as nothing more than "locker room talk" at the second presidential debate and said he has never kissed or groped women without consent.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said yesterday the president had addressed the accusations directly and denied all of these allegations. "This took place long before he was elected to be President. And the people of this country, at a decisive election, supported President Trump, and we feel like these allegations have been answered through that process," Sanders told reporters at her daily news conference. As the President said himself, he thinks it's a good thing that women are coming forward, but he also feels strongly that a mere allegation shouldn't determine the
course, she said. "Several reports have shown those eyewitnesses also back up the President's claim in this process. Again, the American people knew this and voted for the President, and we feel like we're ready to move forward in that process," Sanders said. Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in a tweet yesterday demanded Trump's resignation.
"President Trump should resign. But, of course, he won't hold himself accountable. Therefore, Congress should investigate the multiple sexual harassment and assault allegations against him," Gillibrand said. "The American people deserve a full inquiry into the truth of these allegations," said Congresswoman Lois Frankel, head of the Democratic Women's Working Group (DWWG).
Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence said regardless of the victim or alleged perpetrator, every voice deserved to be heard and justice demands transparency, accountability and respect of due process. "A thorough investigation into these accusations of sexual misconduct by President Trump is long overdue," she said.
"While the President's behaviour certainly warrants a call for his resignation, the most important thing we in Congress can do right now is a comprehensive investigation," said Congresswoman Jackie Speier. "What I find most disturbing is the fact that his victims were dismissed out of hand or, even worse, called liars. These women deserve to have us engage in a serious examination of the allegations and facts, as does the American public," she said. US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said yesterday that women who accuse a man of inappropriate sexual behaviour - including Trump - "should be heard." "Women who accuse anyone should be heard," the Indian- American top diplomat said when asked specifically about Trump's accusers.
"They should be heard and they should be dealt with. I think we heard from them prior to the election. I think any woman who has felt violated or felt mistreated in any way, they have every right to speak up," she was quoted as saying by the CNN. PTI