Gutiérrez to Rosenstein: “I Would Like To Ask You About Sexual Assault By The President Of The United States”
Washington, DC – Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) used his question and answer period during today’s House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to ask about sexual assault allegations against the President of the United States. The Congressman said: "I believe these women. In fact, I would say without hesitation whenever it is a case of his word against her word, I generally give her word a lot more weight.”
He 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. I do."
Using the words of some of the women who have come forward and the words of the President corroborating some of the accusations, the Congressman asked America’s number two law-enforcement official about the President’s groping and other unwanted advances:
“Were he on a subway or in a restaurant, would not [these] incidents be enough to get him arrested, in your experience?”
The Congressman did not get much of an answer from the Deputy Attorney General.
A video of the Congressman’s Q&A session is here: https://youtu.be/bGdtzKmOoMQ
Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez is a Member of the Judiciary Committee and the Chair of the Immigration Task Force of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
REMARKS (As Prepared for Delivery)
December 13, 2017
I would like to ask you about sexual assault by the President of the United States.
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 hand 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 are clear violations of law.
Now, I believe these women. In fact, I would say without hesitation whenever it is a case of his word against her word, I generally give her word a lot more weight.
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. I do.
Just as I believe the women who came forward to accuse Senator Al Franken.
And it goes no farther than this Committee which has two empty chairs today because two senior Members resigned because women came forward and made credible claims.
And others on this dais right now are among the additional Members of this body who are accused – credibly accused – of misconduct.
Right now, with the number two person in the Justice Department before our Committee and sworn to tell the truth I think it is important to get your opinion on whether there are grounds for a criminal investigation or an ethics investigation against the President of the United States.
For example, Rachel Crooks is one of the 16 women that we know of who have come forward. She said that President Trump, before he was President, “kissed me directly on the mouth. It was so inappropriate he thought I was so insignificant that he could do that.”
Jill Harth, another one of the 16 women, said, “He groped me, he absolutely groped me. And he just slipped his hand there touching my private parts.”
Now those are just two examples of unwelcome sexual advances.
Were he on a subway or in a restaurant, would not either or both of those incidents be enough to get him arrested, in your experience as the number 2 most important law-enforcement officer in the United States?
But before you answer that, how about in these cases?
Kristen Anderson, in an interview said: “The person on my right who unbeknownst to me at that time was Donald Trump, put their hand up my skirt he did touch my vagina through my underwear.”
And Cassandra Searles said: “He continually grabbed my ass and invited me to his hotel room.”
These are very serious allegations of crimes committed by the President, are they not?
But before you answer, I think it is important to point out that these stories are corroborated by one of the most important witnesses of all, the President himself.
He told TV host Billy Bush when he was mic’ed up for an interview with Access Hollywood.
“I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.
He continued “Grab ’em by the… [pussy]. You can do anything.”
Samantha Holvey said on national television that when she was a contestant in a beauty pageant, Trump would come back unannounced in the dressing room.
And she tells her story and once again, we have audio tape of the President corroborating this account when he told Howard Stern
"Well, I'll tell you the funniest is that before a show, I'll go backstage and everyone's getting dressed, and everything else, and you know, no men are anywhere, and I'm allowed to go in because I'm the owner.” And he went on to say “"the chicks will be almost naked."
Mr. Rosenstein, I see you as a law enforcement officer and I value your opinion on these matters. Would it be appropriate for you to investigate these and other allegations of assault and unwanted sexual advances?
Are we helping to delegitimize sexual assault if we say, oh, well, the American people voted, the people of Alabama voted, even with Members of this Committee campaigning on behalf of the Alabama Senate nominee and the President, do we on this committee – the Judiciary Committee – bear responsibility for allowing these actions to go unnoticed, uninvestigated, unchallenged because they are uncomfortable?
What does that do from a law enforcement standpoint when people get away with assault with no consequences or with in fact, job advancement and accolades. Do you see that as having a long term effect?
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