WASHINGTON – Energized by Judge Roy Moore's defeat in Alabama's Senate election amid decades-old allegations of sexual abuse, Democrats are now on a mission to take down President Trump.
Advertisement - story continues below
U.S. Rep. Bonne Watson Coleman, D-N.J. – who last month called President Trump "absolutely disgusting" and "an embarrassment as president of the United States of America" who "makes [her] sick to [her] stomach" – is now demanding President Trump be investigated because of claims he sexually harassed women.
"The allegations against the president and the fact that he even admitted to some behavior that could be considered sexual harassment needs to be vetted," Rep. Watson Coleman told WND. "It needs to be investigated by probably more than one agency, but most certainly the Committee on Oversight and Government reform, which does these kinds of investigations. And then the chips will fall will where they may.
"With regard with him being impeached – there are nearly 20 women who have made these allegations; there has to be some fact finding, some investigation that takes place. This will be one of the issues that we would put in for consideration for whether or not the president should continue as the president."
A group of 54 female Democratic lawmakers sent a formal letter to the chair of the House Oversight Committee, Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., Monday, asking for an investigation of the allegations of sexual assault and harassment made against the president during the 2016 presidential election.
Advertisement - story continues below
"In the time of 'Me Too,' women across the country are coming forward with their own harrowing stories of sexual harassment and assault," the letter from the Democratic Women's Working Group reads. "Members of Congress have also come under scrutiny and investigation, with some resigning, for improper sexual conduct. We cannot ignore the multitude of women who have come forward with accusations against Mr. Trump. With that said, the president should be allowed to present evidence in his own defense."
The Women's Working Group said 100 Democrats have signed the letter, and more are expected to join the effort.
Gowdy replied Tuesday that he would not launch an investigation into sexual allegations against President Trump, explaining that it's the job of the law enforcement professionals and prosecutors to investigate crimes.
Advertisement - story continues below
Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., insisted that his call for President Trump to be investigated for sexual predation has nothing to do with partisanship.
"Sexual harassment is not a partisan issue," Lieu told WND. "It occurs both in the private sector or public sector, whether you are Democrat or Republican, or whether you are working in media or business; it's pervasive. I believe the accusers because there are huge disincentives to report and there should be zero tolerance, whether Republican or Democrat."
Trump should "absolutely" be investigated, Lieu insisted.
"I happen to sit on the House Judiciary Committee. I think there should be an investigation and hearings," Lieu continued. "But I would support – like with the other elected officials who are accused as well as anyone in the private sector – that, yes, allegations of sexual harassment be investigated, even if they are decades old."
Advertisement - story continues below
Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., launched into a tirade about Trump's accusers during Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's hearing on the Russia probe on Wednesday, describing in detail how Trump allegedly harassed and groped them.
"Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would like to ask you about sexual assault by the president of the United States of America," Gutierrez began. "Over the past few days, echoing previous allegations made against the president in the past several years, at least 16 women have come forward to say that the president of the United States felt them up, kissed them without permission, put his hands under their clothing without permission, groped them, touched their genitalia, walked into dressing rooms unannounced to see them naked and made other unwanted sexual advances that, to everyone, are clear violations of the law."
He then pressure the second most powerful law enforcement officer in the nation to investigate the allegations against the president.
"Now, I believe the women, and I generally give the women and their word a lot of weight," Gutierrez continued. "And when the him in question is Donald Trump, there really should be no further discussion, because as everybody – regardless of their political affiliations or partisanship – can clearly see, we have a man in the presidency who has a very difficult relationship with the truth.
"In this case, we have women who were made to feel powerless and insignificant, who, at great personal cost and risk, have come forward. And I believe them."
Rosenstein declined to address the question, saying it "wouldn't be appropriate" for him to weigh in on this.
In an interview with WND, Gutierrez doubled down on his demand that Trump be investigated.
"There needs to be chief law enforcement," Gutierrez said. "We had a member that is under investigation by the Ethics Committee, and we have a president – I mean, 50-some members of the House said President Trump should be investigated."
When asked if Democrats – who have yet to show a crime or produce an impeachable offense concerning allegations of Trump-Russia collusion – are strategizing to use sexual harassment allegations made against Trump to impeach the president, Gutierrez told WND: "I believe the women. I think the women should be heard."
He added: "Men should be heard. But the women should be believed."
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, also used the Russia probe hearing to force Rosenstein to listen to accusations against President Trump.
"What intentions does the Department of Justice have to allow these women who are accusing the president of sexual misconduct and have never been heard in terms of a public setting?" she asked Rosenstein. "What does the Department of Justice intend to do in light of the fact that the president is the chief law enforcement officer of the United States of America?"
Rosenstein responded, "If there's anything that warrants federal investigation, then we would certainly look at it."
Lee told WND that Moore didn't lose just because he's a sexual "predator," but the people of Alabama also repudiated him because he's a racist.
"The people of Alabama, in a Southern state with a history of segregation, rejected an individual who wanted to use the negatives of America to separate people and use divisiveness to win and had a history of being a child predator," she said. "The Alabamans stood up and showed to America and the world a new Alabama. This is an exciting day."
She continued: "Judgment Day came for Roy Moore last night. There must be a reformation across America about how we address these issues to provide a safe environment for everyone to work in. That's an important message that Democrats in the United States Congress are making, because it's been very difficult for any leadership from Republicans on this issue."
Democrats such as Reps. Gutierrez and Jackson Lee should be ashamed for "making the sexual harassment problem in this country partisan," Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Ohio, told WND.
"It's shameful," Stivers said. "I hope [Gutierrez] will look at Rep. Ruben J. Kihuen (D-Nev.), who refuses to resign. I hope he will consider that Al Franken was one of the abusers. The voters of Alabama have already taken care of Judge Moore. This is a problem that we need to face as Americans that none of us should make partisan.
Kihuen, Nevada's first Latino member of the U.S. House, was accused of sexual harassment by a former campaign staffer earlier this month. The campaign staffer who alleges sexual misconduct told BuzzFeed that Kihuen tried to initiate sexual contact on several occasions. She claims Kihuen touched her thighs twice without her permission during his 2016 congressional campaign.
Kihuen immediately denied the claims, and he refuses to step down.
Moore's loss in the deep red state of Alabama is not indicative of the GOP's future electoral prospects, Stivers said.
"You can take a special case of Roy Moore, who was a terrible candidate, and turn that into a wave," he said. "We have defied history, and we will defy history. … We have a better candidate and we have a better campaign. And candidates and campaigns matter. That's the lesson of [Tuesday] night."
Democrats may be excited that Doug Jones defeated Moore Tuesday night, Stiver said, but the Trump administration and the GOP's economic platform will secure Republican victories in 2018 and beyond.
"The economy is going to be a secret weapon of ours," Stiver revealed. "We saw a stagnant economy for 10 years. In 2010, unemployment was going up, and it hit almost 9 percent. Now, unemployment is down to 4.1 percent. The only thing we haven't seen yet is wage growth. The new jobs numbers were 20 percent above the expected. They expected about 190,000 this month, they got 240,000 – 20 percent higher than projections.
"The only thing that has not happened yet is positive pressure on wages. The tax bill is going to grow jobs even faster and put pressure on wages so the American people are going to see wage growth. They are going to see better job prospects, and they are going to see more money in their pockets as a result of a small tax cut that is in the bill. And we still have infrastructure to get done."
Rep. Tom Rice, R-S.C., predicted Trump's Congress will still pass tax reform and the rest of Trump's agenda, despite losing the Senate seat to a Democrat.
"I don't think it will have any effect on tax reform – it will be passed long before the replacement is certified," Rice told WND.
A Republican would have easily defeated Jones, but Moore was an unusually flawed candidate, he argued.
"Moore lost because [of] these accusations – inappropriate activity with young females, [and] his accusers have every right to be heard. He has every right to defend himself. Outside of that he would have won in a land slide," Rice said. "Sen. Luther Strange, had he won, he would have won in a landslide. But there is a limit to what voters are going to put up with. [Moore] obviously made people uncomfortable."
As women accuse men of sexual assault, abuse or harassment continue to take the national stage, Rice warned that America must now "figure out what the rules are."
"There is heightened sensitivity, and [there's] a wave of folks who have been abused in the past or have felt they have been abused and have for whatever reason maybe not spoken out. Or if they had spoken out, they weren't taken seriously," Rice said. "Why this heightened time of sensitivity? I am not sure. I am glad things are in the public discourse so we can try to explore and make things better.
"Times have changed, and people's attitudes have changed. Being from the South, I was taught all my life to treat ladies special. And it's very common for me to maybe kiss them on the cheek. You have to figure what the rules are. It's an unusual time."
Talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh expressed similar concerns during his Tuesday show. He warned that Democrats could begin using sexual harassment allegations as a political tool against their enemies:
I'm gonna tell you: If you're in politics and you've ever looked at a woman the wrong way, you can expect a woman, at some point, to go public and say so. In fact, because of the success Democrats had with this, it's entirely possible that men who haven't done a single thing in terms of mistreating a woman, abusing her or harassing her are still nevertheless going to be accused of it. It has become a political tactic.
We have now had something that is a genuinely serious thing in its own right, in its own contained universe, sexual harassment. … The use of sexual harassment and the mistreatment of women or others in the workplace is a legitimate [problem]. But it's now just been corrupted and weaponized and made to look like a political opposition-research weapon. And that's exactly what's happened.
And so anybody can see. And you can see that when one of these allegations is made, the women are believed, and the men who are accused are not – which means the men have to prove a negative, and the accusers don't have to prove anything. That is a powerful weapon the Democrats have decided to use. And believe me, as we speak, they are behind closed doors creating further stratagems using this. And they are picking their targets. And you're gonna see more of it, I predict.