In response to Democrats’ demands that President Donald Trump be investigated for sexual misconduct by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) said that won’t happen.
“This Committee, [or] any other Committee of Congress, does not, and cannot, prosecute crimes,” Gowdy wrote in response to a letter from the Democratic Women’s Working Group (DWWG).
“This is true for many reasons but especially true in crimes of this serious nature. Those alleging sexual assault or criminal sexual conduct deserve to be interviewed by law enforcement professionals, and charging decisions should be made by prosecutors based on the quantum and quality of the admissible and provable evidence.”
The letter demanding that the committee open an investigation into Trump came one day after three women held a press conference to renew their attack on the president. During the 2016 election, several women publicly accused Trump of sexual misconduct but he denied their claims, and voters elected him into office.
Gowdy said he sent a copy of the letter to the Justice Department, with the understanding that the agency doesn’t have jurisdiction over state law violations. He further noted that the allegations the Democrats’ detailed in their letter constitute crimes that break state laws rather than federal laws.
Only in one instance, where Trump allegedly groped and forcibly kissed a woman aboard an airplane in the 1970s, may federal law enforcement be involved, Gowdy wrote, according to a report in The Washington Examiner.
On Tuesday, Trump reiterated that his accusers are not telling the truth.
The Oversight and Government Reform Committee has, in the past, investigated allegations of sexual misconduct that occurred at numerous federal agencies, including at the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Agriculture, Department of Justice, and National Park Service, according to the report.
“The Republican-controlled committee held multiple hearings from April 2015 to December 2016 examining the alleged sexual harassment,” said the Examiner.
At a hearing about misconduct at the National Park Service last year, Gowdy asked one of the witnesses to speak out on behalf of women who have experienced inappropriate behavior.
“I want the fear and the difficulty and the pain to belong to the perpetrator, not the victim,” Gowdy said. “So, I want you to tell us as much about your fact pattern, your story, and I want you to stop and cite all those instances where something more could have been done and should have been done, and do it on behalf of women who maybe don’t have the ability to speak up like you do.”
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