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GOP shoots down House Democrats' requests to investigate harassment claims against Trump
Democratic lawmakers' requests for a House investigation into allegations that President Trump sexually harassed or sexually assaulted numerous women hit a dead end Wednesday.
By Rick Docksai
Contributor
Jan 12, 2018

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WASHINGTON D.C. —

The House of Representatives will not probe allegations of sexual harassment or assault against President Trump, said House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) in an email Wednesday to Democratic colleagues who had requested that the committee look into the claims. Gowdy told them that he has referred their request to the Justice Department instead.

"This Committee, nor any other Committee of Congress, does not, and cannot, prosecute crimes. This is true for many reasons but especially true in crimes of this serious nature,"he wrote in responseto Rep. Lois Frankel (D-Fla.), whohad gathered signaturesfrom Democratic colleagues calling for the investigation.

Gowdy added that Trump's accusers should undergo interviewing "by law-enforcement professionals" and that it is the job of prosecutors to make any "charging decisions." He also advised leaving the handling of any allegations relating to "fitness for office" to the House Judiciary Committee.

At the same time, the Oversight Committee is jointly investigating with the Judiciary Committee the Justice Department's handling of Hillary Clinton's emails last year. Gowdy himself actively participated in interrogating Clinton about her email use during Congressional hearings prior to her winning the Democratic presidential campaign nomination.

The Oversight Committee's ranking Democrat, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), objected to Gowdy's deferral. Cummings noted that Congress is in the midst of combating sexual harassment within its own ranks and argued that examining similar accusations against the White House's employeesincluding the presidentis part of the Oversight Committee's mission.

Cummings and Gowdy also clashed recently over whether to investigate security-related allegations against Trump's former national-security adviser, Michael Flynn. Gowdy was referring that matter to federal law enforcement, as well.