News & Politics

Dems in Congress Demand Hearings for Trump's Sexual Harassment Accusers

This Presidents' Day, let's fight for the survivors.

Photo Credit: C-SPAN

Donald Trump was elected president despite his history of sexual harassment. While in office, he's continued to staff his cabinet with men accused of sexual abuse, and continue to defend most of them, like former Staff Secretary Rob Porter, who was accused by two ex-wives of domestic abuse. Trump claims that these men did not receive "due process." Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, an outspoken critic of the president, suggested earlier this month that if the president is so concerned about due process, perhaps over a dozen women who have accused him of sexual harassment should be given a hearing on Capitol Hill.

A week later, multiple congressional Democrats have demanded that hearings be held. 

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Rep. Steve Cohen told the Hill, "I think it would be most appropriate," observing, "This is the most unusual circumstance that you have a president with over a dozen accusers of sexual harassment occupying the most prestigious position in the country." Rep. Kathleen Rice agreed, noting that while it will be up to each accuser to decide whether she wants to go on record, they should have the option to do so. 

"He just has a disturbing lack of appreciation for the seriousness of these cases, and a predilection to always believing the accused instead of these victims," Rice noted. "It's probably hard for him to condemn other people who engage in behavior that's similar to his own—I understand the potential hypocrisy there—but when you're the president, you're supposed to make people feel like you care about their issues."

In a presidency where each news cycle lasts barely a minute before we're forced to contend with a fresh disaster, it can be hard to remember that Trump was not only caught on tape describing how he sexually harasses women, but that multiple women went on record explaining in detail exactly what he did to them. 

This Presidents' Day is a critical opportunity to remember these women and support their right to a fair hearing. The women's rights advocacy group UltraViolet tweeted some of the most damning quotes from Trump's accusers today:

The Washington Post has a running list of the women's names and accusations

Ilana Novick is an AlterNet contributing writer and production editor.