Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer is exploring his legal options after someone circulated a forged document claiming he sexual harassed a former staffer.
Several media outlets were sent a document detailing allegations of sexual misconduct by Schumer, supposedly written by a former aide. When the news site Axios contacted the woman, she said the charges were false and that her signature had been forged.
“The claims in this document are completely false, my signature is forged, and even basic facts about me are wrong,” said the woman, who requested anonymity, in an email to the Associated Press. “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.”
Schumer's office has asked police to look into the matter. "The document is a forged document and every allegation is false. 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,” said Schumer spokesman Matt House. "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."
On Wednesday, Schumer told reporters “it was a phony allegation, forged,” baseless “from start to finish" and that he would be pursuing "every legal path."
Axios reported that a source close to Schumer told them the document was full of errors, including an allegation of inappropriate behavior on September 16, 2011, in Washington, D.C., but Schumer was in New York City at the time. That person added that reporters from the Washington Post, CNN, BuzzFeed, The New Yorker and ABC all asked about the document on Tuesday.
The story comes a week after sexual harassment allegations resulted in the resignations of Democratic Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota and Democratic Rep. John Conyers of Michigan.