Nov 23, 2017

Both parties have post-Weinstein worries

The covers of the New York Post (left) and New York Daily News. Photo: Mark Lennihan / AP

Over the next month, we're likely to see careers of multiple members of Congress thrown into peril over new sexual claims. Newsrooms are throwing serious resources into this story and victims feel liberated. This is the beginning, not the end, of a story that will upend the Capitol.

Below we take a look at the allegations of sexual misconduct plaguing both parties.

On the Republican side: Amid the Roy Moore fracas, "Representative Joe Barton of Texas, [vice chair] of the House Energy and Commerce Committee ... said that he was reconsidering his political future after [a naked picture of him] appeared on an anonymous Twitter account," per the N.Y. Times.

  • Barton may fight: He said in a statement "that he had suffered 'a potential crime.' A Texas law, the so-called revenge pornography law, makes it a misdemeanor to intentionally publicize images or videos of someone's genitals or sexual activity without consent."
  • His accuser already is: A WashPost front-pager, dragged on Twitter for missing the nuance about revenge porn, says Barton "told a woman to whom he had sent sexually explicit photos, videos and messages that he [might] report her to the Capitol Police because she could expose his behavior."

On the Democrat side: "[N]ow 'me too' stains the Democrats, too, putting them in an awkward place as they calibrate how forcefully to respond," AP's Juliet Linderman and Cal Woodward write:

  • "Allegations against Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota and Rep. John Conyers of Michigan ... have prompted a hard look back at the way Democrats and their allies once circled the wagons around President Bill Clinton."
  • "In a story published [yesterday] by the Huffington Post, two more women alleged that Franken touched their buttocks during campaign events in 2007 and 2008. ... Franken said in a statement, 'It's difficult to respond to anonymous accusers, and I don't remember those campaign events.'"
  • "BuzzFeed has published affidavits from former employees of Conyers who said they saw the Democrat inappropriately touching women who worked for him and asking them for sexual favors"

Go deeper

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Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo via The Washington Post.

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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

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Why it matters: Just like the boom in scout programs a number of years ago, it’s all about the deal flow.

Scoop: Top NSC official reassigned to Energy Department amid "Anonymous" fallout

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Deputy national security adviser Victoria Coates will be reassigned as a senior adviser to Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette, the National Security Council said Thursday — and a senior White House official said that the administration "rejects" the rumors that she is "Anonymous."

Why it matters: Coates has battled claims that she is the still-unknown Trump administration official that penned a New York Times op-ed and book critical of President Trump.