if anyone could figure out a way, you could depend on Congress to figure out how to keep harassment settlements secret. That is what this appears like at first reading. There is a financial report on settlements that Congress has paid each year. Democratic Rep. Jackie Speier was the one who first alleged that there were secret harassment settlements. A figure of $15 Million was thrown out there. There is a catch in her numbers. Read it all below.
The idea of settlements for congressional misconduct being paid secretly with taxpayer money in a republic is absurd. On what planet does a government that makes even a pretense of accountability allow the miscreants in its ranks to engage in malfeasance and stick the public with the bill without even admitting their misdeeds? If I have to pay for Congressman Lech’s grope habit, tell me what he’s up to so that I can vote him out next time. Harvey Weinstein at least had to notify the Weinstein Company when he reached a settlement with someone. Congress ostensibly works for us yet we have no idea what “our employees” are doing with our money to cover up their personal scumbaggery.
The Al Franken story is attention-grabbing. But I think the secret House sex harassment settlements–authorized by whom, using what legal and fact-finding processes, known to whom else?–have the potential to be more explosive. And have there been no similar cases in the Senate?
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) November 16, 2017
I couldn’t agree more. It’s a scandal and the GOP leadership should address it. There’s a big caveat, though, to the uproar about the secret settlements, specifically these numbers that are being passed around online: