#MeToo Champion Gillibrand Accused of Overlooking Sexual Harassment | NTK Network #MeToo Champion Gillibrand Accused of Overlooking Sexual Harassment

#MeToo Champion Gillibrand Accused of Overlooking Sexual Harassment

A former staffer said she reported sexual harassment in Gillibrand’s office but resigned three weeks later when her claims were ignored.

By NTK Staff | 03.11.2019 @9:22am
#MeToo Champion Gillibrand Accused of Overlooking Sexual Harassment

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), a Democratic presidential hopeful and outspoken advocate for survivors of sexual harassment and assault, is being accused of overlooking similar claims made within her own office this week.

According to a Politico story published Monday, a mid-20s female staffer reported an older, male colleague for behavior that amounted to sexual harassment within Gillibrand’s office. When that male staffer was not reprimanded and actually retaliated against the female staffer, she quit.

In July, the female staffer alleged one of Gillibrand’s closest aides — who was a decade her senior and married — repeatedly made unwelcome advances after the senator had told him he would be promoted to a supervisory role over her. She also said the male aide regularly made crude, misogynistic remarks in the office about his female colleagues and potential female hires.

Less than three weeks after reporting the alleged harassment and subsequently claiming that the man retaliated against her for doing so, the woman told chief of staff Jess Fassler that she was resigning because of the office’s handling of the matter. She did not have another job lined up.

The man accused of sexual harassment, Abbas Malik, kept his job at the time. But two weeks ago, Politico reporters presented Gillibrand’s staff with additional claims of sexual harassment. The office fired Malik last week.

The case brings the issue of sexual harassment front and center for a presidential candidate who has made survivor advocacy a central tenet of her political identity. The incident risks jeopardizing Gillibrand’s credibility on the issue.

Gillibrand famously became the first senator to call on Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) to resign after several women came forward to allege he had sexually harassed and assaulted them. Many Democrats are still fuming at Gillibrand for her part in forcing Franken to resign.

Gillibrand is currently languishing in the polls, usually clocking in around one or two percent, and she has not earned a single endorsement from her congressional colleagues. This incident is likely only going to make her political prospects even worse.

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