Over the weekend Congressman Eric Massa Claimed that the Ethics Committee investigation that pushed him out of office was just a misunderstood drunken incident at a wedding. According to reporters who were allowed a peek at the files Massa’s account is not quite accurate. He was under investigation for groping three different male staffers.
Massa said the incident that got him in trouble occurred at a staff member’s wedding reception on New Year’s Eve.
“I was with my wife. And in fact we had a great time. She got the stomach flu,” he said.
Massa said he had just gotten up to sing Auld Lang Syne and had finished dancing with the bride and bridesmaid — in full view of cameras — when he sat back down at a table with male staff members.
“One of them looked at me and, as they would do after, I don’t know, 15 gin and tonics, and goodness only knows how many bottles of champagne, a staff member made an intonation to me that maybe I should be chasing after the bridesmaid, and his points were clear and his words were far more colorful than that.
“And I grabbed the staff member sitting next to me and said, ‘Well, what I really ought to be doing is fracking you,'” he said.
“And then [I] tousled the guy’s hair and left, went to my room, because I knew the party was getting to a point where it wasn’t right for me to be there
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According to the Washington Post:
Former Rep. Eric Massa (D-N.Y.) has been under investigation for allegations that he groped multiple male staffers working in his office, according to three sources familiar with the probe.
The allegations surrounding the former lawmaker date back at least a year, and involve “a pattern of behavior and physical harassment,” according to one source. The new claims of alleged groping contradict statements by Massa, who resigned his office on Monday after it became public that he was the subject of a House ethics committee investigation for possible harassment.
Massa had said that the allegations were limited to his use of “salty language” with his staff. He apologized for making some inappropriate comments and argued he was being unfairly villified. Days later, Massa accused the White House and Democratic congressional leaders of trying to oust him from office to improve their chances of passing health care reform legislation. Massa could not be reached for comment Tuesday, and no one answered the phone at his home in New York or his campaign office. Staff at his former congressional offices declined to relay messages to him and said they did not know how to reach him.
According to two sources familiar with the probe, Massa’s former deputy chief of staff Ron Hikel provided the information about the staffers’ allegations to the House ethics committee three weeks ago. Hikel had earlier sought advice from Majority Leader Steny Hoyer‘s office about brewing internal complaints, the sources said, and had been urged to report the allegations to the committee.
This certainly casts new doubt on Massa’s charge that it was all being orchestrated by Rahm Emanuel. He will have to work hard to convince people that his story is true.