A fake document purporting to detail Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s history of sexual harassment was shopped around to reporters this week. Most of the document’s claims are verifiably false and Schumer’s office has reportedly contacted Capitol Police, according to Axios.
The 13-page PDF, which rather conspicuously titled “Schumer_Complaint,” alleges that Schumer harassed a former staffer from 2009 to 2011. It was apparently designed to resemble a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for DC.
Perhaps most glaringly, the document doesn’t name a lawyer for the staffer who allegedly filed the suit. Seems like a red flag to me! When she was approached with the document, the former staffer vehemently denied its claims and indicated she would also contact Capitol Police.
“The claims in this document are completely false, my signature is forged, and even basic facts about me are wrong,” she told Axios in a statement on Tuesday. “I have contacted law enforcement to determine who is responsible. I parted with Senator Schumer’s office on good terms and have nothing but the fondest memories of my time there.”
Schumer’s office pointed to the document’s numerous factual errors in rejecting its allegations. According to one of his aides, the document claims Schumer sexually harassed the former staffer on Sept. 16, 2011, in DC—but he was in New York City at the time. Similarly, the document alleges Schumer was inappropriate with the former staffer on Aug. 15, 2011, in DC—but, you guessed it, he was in France at the time.
In a statement provided to Axios, Schumer’s communications director Matt House emphasized the document’s inaccuracy. “The document is a forged document and every allegation is false,” House said. “We have turned it over to the Capitol Police and asked them to investigate and pursue criminal charges because it is clear the law has been broken.”
This seems like a pretty clear attempt to bring Schumer down in the cascade of sexual harassment claims that have rocked both the Senate and the House in recent weeks—and it’s certainly not the first time an opportunistic troll tried to dupe a reporter with a fake sexual harassment story. Shout out to fact-checkers.
Update, 8:31 PM: It seems as though far-right troll Mike Cernovich might have shopped around the forged document—given he supplied BuzzFeed News with the lawsuit filing that revealed Rep. John Coyners’s history of sexual harassment, his involvement in attempt to Schumer bring down wouldn’t be shocking.