Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has turned over to Capitol Police an apparently forged document that he said falsely accused him of sexually harassing a former staffer, multiple outlets reported late Tuesday.
“It was a phony allegation,” Schumer said at the end of a Wednesday morning press conference on the GOP tax bill. “False from start to finish. We are pursuing every legal means to address it.”
The former staffer, who has asked to remain anonymous, told TPM in a statement that she did not write the document and that she had never been subjected to inappropriate treatment by the New York Democrat.
“The claims in this document are completely false, my signature is forged, and even basic facts about me are wrong,” the woman said of the 13-page, password-protected PDF. “I have contacted law enforcement to determine who is responsible. I parted with Senator Schumer’s office on good terms and have nothing but the fondest memories of my time there.”
Publications including the Washington Post, ABC News, CNN and BuzzFeed have said they received the falsified document, which was made to look like a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia but lacked basic information like the name of a lawyer for the staffer.
“We have turned it over to the Capitol Police and asked them to investigate and pursue criminal charges because it is clear the law has been broken,” Schumer communications director Matt House told TPM in a statement. “We believe the individual responsible for forging the document should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law to prevent other malicious actors from doing the same.”
This incident comes shortly after an undercover operative associated with conservative activist group Project Veritas was exposed for trying to convince the Washington Post to publish a fabricated claim of sexual allegation against Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore (R).
The newspaper, which first surfaced credible allegations of Moore groping teenagers when he was in his 30s, realized the operative was falsifying her story while reporting out the details she provided. Moore lost the Senate race Tuesday night in a surprise upset by Democrat Doug Jones.
Alice Ollstein contributed reporting.