Of all the high-profile men that have gone down recently for sexual harassment, none of the accused politicians have suffered any consequences indicating that elected officials are immune from punishment. In the last few weeks powerful entertainment figures, prominent television news personalities and a top political journalist have been fired for sexual harassment while members of congress embroiled in similar scandals remain in power.
Minnesota Senator Al Franken simply issued a public apology for groping and demeaning women, telling a local newspaper “I’ve let a lot of people down and I’m hoping I can make it up to them and gradually regain their trust.” In a social media post, the Democratic lawmaker dedicated a heartfelt “I am sorry” to all who have considered him an ally, supporter and champion of women. Veteran Michigan Congressman John Conyers took the amnesia route, claiming that he knew nothing about secretly paying a staffer—with taxpayer funds from his office budget—to make a sexual harassment scandal vanish. Multiple former staff members also accuse the 88-year-old lawmaker, the longest serving House member and until a few days ago the ranking Democrat on the powerful Judiciary Committee, of sexual harassment. A few years ago, Conyers got busted for illegally forcing congressional staffers to be personal servants and work on state and local campaigns, but he wasn’t even disciplined. This seems to be par for the course in Washington.
A few years ago, Judicial Watch sued a Florida congressman with a long history of deceit and corruption, for sexually harassing a female employee. The Democratic legislator, Alcee Hastings, was impeached by Congress as a federal judge after getting caught in a scandal involving the solicitation of a $150,000 bribe in return for “favorable treatment for defendants in a racketeering case before him.” The disgraced judge was an unindicted co-conspirator, but there was enough evidence against him for Congress to boot him from the bench. Hastings is one of only six federal judges to be impeached by Congress and removed from the bench. Appropriately, he joined one of the nation’s most corrupt enterprises and has flourished by committing a multitude of misdeeds that include mixing work as a public servant with romance. Earlier this year Hastings was in hot water after a watchdog revealed he gave his girlfriend the maximum taxpayer salary for five consecutive years to work in a field office. Top congressional salaries are supposed to go to the Washington D.C.-based chief of staff.
Judicial Watch’s lawsuit against Hastings was on behalf of a female employee that he regularly harassed..