A group of nearly 60 Democratic Congresswomen has sought a thorough investigation into the sexual misconduct allegations leveled against US President Donald Trump.
In a letter sent to Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reforms, the 54 women lawmakers who signed it noted that in the time of “Me Too”, women across the US were coming forward with their own harrowing stories of sexual harassment and assault.
“Members of Congress have also come under scrutiny and investigation, with some resigning, for improper sexual conduct,” the letter said.
“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 defence,” it said.
Three of Trump’s accusers at a news conference on Monday, demanded the US Congress investigate their allegations against the US President.
Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand even went to the extent of demanding Trump’s resignation.
“President Trump should resign. But, of course, he won’t hold himself accountable. Therefore, Congress should investigate the multiple sexual harassment and assault allegations against him,” Gillibrand said in a tweet.
“The American people deserve a full inquiry into the truth of these allegations,” said Congresswoman Lois Frankel, head of the Democratic Women’s Working Group (DWWG).
Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence said that regardless of the victim or alleged perpetrator, every voice deserved to be heard and justice demands transparency, accountability and respect of due process.
“A thorough investigation into these accusations of sexual misconduct by President Trump is long overdue,” she said.
“While the President’s behaviour certainly warrants a call for his resignation, the most important thing we in Congress can do right now is a comprehensive investigation,” said Congresswoman Jackie Speier.
“What I find most disturbing is the fact that his victims were dismissed out of hand or, even worse, called liars. These women deserve to have us engage in a serious examination of the allegations and facts, as does the American public,” she added.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said the president had addressed the accusations directly and denied all of these allegations.
“This took place long before he was elected to be President. And the people of this country, at a decisive election, supported President Trump, and we feel like these allegations have been answered through that process,” Sanders told reporters at her daily news conference.
“As the President said himself, he thinks it’s a good thing that women are coming forward, but he also feels strongly that a mere allegation shouldn’t determine the course,” she said.
In 2016, Trump dismissed the allegations, which came from at least 16 different women, as false.
The allegations of sexual misconduct against Trump have received renewed attention recently after several prominent men in the worlds of politics, entertainment and media have been accused of sexual harassment, assault and rape.
“Several reports have shown those eyewitnesses also back up the President’s claim in this process. And again, the American people knew this and voted for the President, and we feel like we’re ready to move forward in that process,” Sanders said.