House Republican leader John Boehner has renewed his push for a House Ethics Committee investigation probing allegations of sexual harassment made against former Democrat Congressman Eric Massa.
The Washington Post today reported more detailed allegations of improper sexual advances made by Massa toward his young, male staffers.
From the report:
Just three months after Eric Massa was elected to Congress, his young male employees on Capitol Hill began complaining to supervisors that the lawmaker was making aggressive, sexual overtures toward them, according to new interviews and internal documents.
The senior staff, one of whom said he heard Massa making lewd remarks to young staffers, tried to manage the problem internally. But reports of Massa’s inappropriate behavior continued, leaving junior workers feeling helpless, according to victims, other staffers and sources close to an ongoing House ethics investigation. Most asked not to be named due to the ethics probe and the risk of hurting their job prospects
This new report suggests a much more substantial timeframe of knowledge by Democrats perhaps seeking a cover-up of Massa’s actions.
Boehner wants to find out.
“It is now readily apparent that Congressman Massa’s pattern of troubling behavior continued long after Democrats first became aware of his conduct,” Boehner said in a statement. “Speaker Pelosi’s staff has acknowledged they knew about problems in Mr. Massa’s office back in the fall of 2009. What action, if any, did the Speaker and the Democratic leadership take to protect Rep. Massa’s subordinates from harassment and abuse?”
“Last month, the House of Representatives sent a clear signal that an investigation to examine and answer the very serious questions arising from Democratic Leaders’ response to their former colleague’s conduct is necessary,” Boehner continued. It is time for the Ethics Committee to heed this call and launch an investigation to determine what Democratic Leaders knew about former Rep. Massa’s behavior, and what they did to protect the staff who were being subjected to this predator.”