On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer contacted the authorities after a document purporting to show a sexual harassment claim against him was shopped around to a number of media outlets.
Axios reports that a document was sent to them with "lurid" allegations against the Democratic senator from New York:
A password-protected PDF of the 13-page document was shopped to Axios and other outlets. The document, which is dated 2012 and has the file name "Schumer_Complaint," looks like a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia... The former staffer said she took the matter to Washington, D.C. police on Tuesday. She said the police told her they were unsure of their jurisdiction in the case. She said she now plans to go to Capitol Police.
Axios contacted the former staffer, who said she had nothing to do with the document and that her signature had been forged.
Another major red flag: two of the alleged incidents took place while Schumer was not in the same location:
- "The document contains an allegation of inappropriate behavior on September 16th 2011 in Washington, but Schumer was in New York City."
- "It contains an allegation of inappropriate behavior by Schumer on August 25th 2011 in Washington, but Schumer was in France."
The Document Was Shopped Around, But Media Outlets Didn't Bite
Buzzfeed's Kate Nocera noted that they also received the document, but weren't convinced by it:
The document was shopped to a number of other outlets as well.
It's Possible That Conservative Activists Charles C. Johnson And Mike Cernovich Are Connected To The Effort
Journalist Will Sommer, who covers conservative media closely, noted a series of Facebook posts and tweets from Johnson and Cernovich over the last couple of days, that appear to reference the Schumer document:
The details in Johnson and Cernovich's posts (a sexual harassment settlement, a senator, and "one of Gillibrand's colleagues) appear to line up with the details of Schumer's case (for one, Schumer and Gillibrand serve as New York's senators).
Update, 12/13: Johnson now claims that he, too, was duped by whoever created the document:
Update, 12/13: It's now been confirmed that the document was a forgery of the Conyers complaint.
We'll update this post as more information becomes available.