February 18, 2018

Meehan Still Running for Re-election Amid Sexual Harassment Probe

25 January 2018, 02:05 | Kara Nash

Patrick Meehan debates the legality of President Obama's executive action on immigration with U.S. D

Patrick Meehan debates the legality of President Obama's executive action on immigration with U.S. D

The district's boundaries could change too after the Pennsylvania state Supreme Court recently struck down the state's congressional district map as a violation of state law and ordered new districts to be drawn before February 15.

He told the paper he had an "affection" for the woman "in a way in which I was struggling to make sure that I would never put that into our professional relationship".

"Sometimes I have the tendency to lash out to others on the staff", Meehan said.

"Right now, we're going to let the investigations take place".

In his first extensive response to the bomb shell New York Times report, Meehan said he told the aide he was "not interested in a relationship", not "any sexual relationship", he specified. He then said he told her: "But we were soul mates".

In a text message the next day, the aide says she found his note in her drawer and thanks Meehan for his "very kind words and for your friendship", adding a smiley face emoji.

He also talks about visiting the Vietnam Veterans Memorial after they got ice cream and finding a fallen soldier with the last name Meehan, and another nearby last name the same as the aide's. Meehan said that if he was acting "rough" in his office or lashed out at all, it was driven by stress he was experiencing over intense votes past year, including GOP efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

The press secretary for House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Ashlee Strong, said in a statement on Saturday following the Times report that Meehan has been stripped of his seat on the House Ethics Committee.

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Meehan also denied the allegations through a statement posted on his website from his communications director, John Elizandro.

Asked if the RNC would stand behind him, McDaniel said she wants the process to "play out".

Meehan's said he's running for a fifth term in a closely divided district that could change dramatically in a court-ordered redrawing of Pennsylvania's congressional boundaries. "She continues to prize her privacy and is not going to breach". Meehan paid an undisclosed amount using the taxpayer-funded account for his congressional office, the Times reported. He used taxpayer money to pay her off. The settlements are typically listed as normal employee compensation, with no indication of anything amiss.

"That Meehan was allowed to remain a member of the House Ethics Committee while working to settle his own sexual harassment claims, with taxpayer money, demonstrates a stunning lack of personal ethics and is an absolute disgrace", said Muroff.

House leaders have called for reforming secret employee settlements, and Ryan has told Meehan he "should" repay the funds, a spokeswoman for the speaker has said.

Democrats, including Gov. Tom Wolf, have called for Meehan to resign and protesters have gathered outside his Pennsylvania offices demanding he step down.

Meehan, in an interview with the Inquirer, confirmed the Times's report for the most part. That seems unlikely, however. He has since been removed from the board and is now the subject of a committee investigation himself.

A glimpse of Meehan and the aide's alleged interaction was gleaned from a letter the married 62-year-old Congressman allegedly wrote in May, in which he thanked the aide for her companionship.

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