Gillibrand Aide Quits over Sexual Harassment Hypocrisy Before Gillibrand Fires Accused

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand speaks at editorial board meeting

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand speaks at editorial board meeting

Politico first reported that a young female aide to Gillibrand resigned last summer in protest over the handling of her sexual harassment claim by Gillibrand's office.

Gillibrand was spearheading efforts to change how Congress handles allegations of sexual harassment a year ago as the female aide-who wanted to remain anonymous due to fear of retaliation and damage to her future career-accused the senator of going against her own "public belief that women shouldn't accept sexual harassment in any form". The aide also criticized Gillibrand for falling short of her public standards on the matter.

A current Gillibrand aide says the senator's office started a probe into the sexual harassment claim less than an hour after learning about it. The male aide, Abbas Malik, kept his job.

Gillibrand defended her office's investigation, calling it "thorough and professional", "thorough and complete", "professional and thorough", and said it was done "thoroughly and appropriately", according to Politico, which was first to report on the allegations Monday.

"As I have long said, when allegations are made in the workplace, we must believe women so that serious investigations can actually take place, we can learn the facts, and there can be appropriate accountability", Gillibrand told Politico in a statement. She claimed he once said that a woman they were discussing "couldn't get laidunless she was raped". However, the former staffer says that they didn't enlist a third party to investigate the claims, which Gillibrand has repeatedly advocated in other contexts, nor did they contact former staffers the woman said could corroborate Malik's behavior.

According to Politico, the young woman wrote in her letter to the NY senator: "Your office chose to go against your public belief that women shouldn't accept sexual harassment in any form and portrayed my experience as a misinterpretation instead of what it actually was: harassment and ultimately, intimidation".

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Presented [Gillibrand's] office with its own findings of additional allegations of inappropriate workplace conduct by Malik.

Malik did not to HuffPost's request for comment. They said Malik regularly made misogynistic jokes, frequently appraised what they wore, disparaged the looks of other female staffers and rated the attractiveness of women who came in for interviews.

Gillibrand, who is still in the exploratory phase of the already jam-packed Democratic presidential primary race, previously told CBS that she's the "best candidate" to take on President Trump in 2020. "The office immediately began another investigation and interviewed relevant witnesses, which has led to the office terminating the employee from staff last week", Brennan said in a statement.

Gillibrand says, "That's exactly what happened at every step of this case previous year". She went on to criticize the senator's office's handling of the matter, saying that she "offered [her] resignation because of how poorly the investigation and post-investigation was handled".

In a later discussion on her resignation with Fassler in August 2018, Fassler told her, "I could have fired you too".

Gillibrand continued on: "I told this employee at the time that she was loved, that we loved her". Al Franken (D., Minn.) to step down over sexual misconduct allegations in 2017, which left bitter feelings about her with some top donors. And she ignited a firestorm that same year when she suggested that Bill Clinton should have resigned the presidency during the scandal over his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

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