PENNSYLVANIA 07 (R -- MEEHAN) | PA-7

Meehan to Run for Reelection Amid Ethics Probe

He described the staffer who accused him of sexual harassment as a “soulmate.”

Jan. 24, 2018, 9:56 a.m.

Rep. Pat Meehan (R) “acknowledged Tuesday that he had a deep ‘affection’ for a younger aide and told her last year that he saw her as ‘a soul mate,’ but said he never pursued a romantic relationship with the woman and, despite paying her a secret settlement, denied her claims of sexual harassment.” He confirmed his plans to run for reelection. Meehan “ also said that he initially reacted ‘poorly’ when he found out that the longtime aide, decades younger, had begun a serious relationship with another man and might leave his office. He released a heartfelt letter he wrote to her in May in which he wished her well, thanked God ‘for putting you into my life.’ … But he denied harassing her … and said any hostility he may have exhibited stemmed from stress around high-pressure votes last year over the Affordable Care Act. He said that he sought to remain loyal to his wife.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

DCCC spokeswoman Meredith Kelly: “There’s no longer any doubt: Congressman Meehan admits to creating a hostile work environment and harassing a young woman in his office, but he refuses to take responsibility for his own reprehensible behavior. This woman deserves credit for standing up to a powerful man, and it is deeply unfortunate that Congressman Meehan used his power to effectively end her career.” (release)

“Top Pennsylvania Republicans are giving … Meehan the benefit of the doubt as he tries to chart a path forward. … While a number of Democrats have called on the Delaware County Republican to step down, key GOP leaders acknowledge the report is troubling, while arguing in the next breath that there may be more to the story, if only it could be revealed. Republican leaders’ responses give Meehan space to consider his next move and decide whether he can ride out the political furor.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

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