GOP: Keep an open mind on Meehan scandal allegations

Source CNN

Source CNN

She added that Ryan believes Meehan should reimburse taxpayers for the settlement payment.

Meehan said he would repay the settlement, which he referred to as a "severance" and which was paid from public funds, if the committee he serves on determines that his behavior constituted harassment.

According to The New York Times, Meehan, a Pennsylvania Republican, made unwanted romantic advances toward an aide, and when she didn't reciprocate, he grew hostile.

He said he had "developed an affection" for his aide "in a way in which I was struggling to make sure that I would never put that into our professional relationship".

He also confirmed that he lashed out in his office when learning of the woman's relationship with someone else and attributed the episode to the tension surrounding the debate around the Affordable Care Act, the Inquirer reported. "You are and have been a complete partner to me and you have brought me much happiness".

Meehan also said he is still planning to run for a fourth term.

Meehan, as a member of the House Ethics Committee, was helping review sexual harassment claims against several other members of Congress until the story broke Saturday.

The lawyer representing Meehan's accuser responded, "We will not allow our client to be victimized twice by this man", and sharply criticized Meehan for addressing any details of the settlement at all.

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Meehan provided a copy of that letter to WHYY, along with text messages from the woman showing she was excited to go get ice cream and that she simply wanted to "be the touchstone you need down here", with a winky face emoji.

"The Committee notes that the mere fact that it is investigating these allegations, and publicly disclosing its review, does not itself indicate that any violation has occurred, or reflect any judgment on behalf of the Committee", Brooks and Deutch said. Meehan paid an undisclosed amount using the taxpayer-funded account for his congressional office, the Times reported.

Meehan was removed from the Ethics Committee on the same day that hundreds of thousands of women and their male supporters marched on the first anniversary of President Donald Trump's inauguration, partly spurred by the #MeToo and #TimesUp social media campaigns decrying sexual miconduct and harasment. Ruben Kihuen D-Nev., Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, Meehan.

'Every step of the process was handled ethically and appropriately, ' Meehan's office said. Like Sanford, Meehan comes across most of all as lovelorn, not sorry.

The ethics committee typically moves slowly and most of what it does is private.

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.

"If he further violates the confidentiality strictures he insisted upon and he agreed to, he will leave our client no choice but to seek legal recourse on her behalf", said attorney Alexis Ronickher.

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