Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer reported to Capitol Police a forged document shopped to reporters that claimed to detail sexual harassment accusations by a former staffer against the New York Democrat, Axios reported Tuesday.
Axios reported that they — as well as other media outlets — received a password-protected PDF of a 13-page document titled "Schumer_Complaint," that mimics the appearance of a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. However, the document contained errors Axios described as “red flags,” including the absence of a lawyer listed for the staffer in question.
The outlet described the document as an “effort to dupe reporters and smear a senator” amid a news cycle involving multiple reports of sexual harassment and assault allegations — and “reporters have become targets for fraud.”
The unnamed woman to whom the document refers to worked for Schumer from 2009 to 2012, and now works for the federal government. She disputed its contents, telling Axios, "The claims in this document are completely false, my signature is forged, and even basic facts about me are wrong.”
“I have contacted law enforcement to determine who is responsible,” she said. “I parted with Senator Schumer's office on good terms and have nothing but the fondest memories of my time there."
She added that she had never seen the document before Axios asked her for comment on it.
What did Schumer’s office say?
"The document is a forged document and every allegation is false,” Matt House, Schumer's communications director, told Axios.
“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,” House continued. "We believe the individual responsible for forging the document should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law to prevent other malicious actors from doing the same."
Axios reported that a “source close to Schumer” said some of the erroneous information in the document includes:
- "The document contains an allegation of inappropriate behavior on September 16th 2011 in Washington, but Schumer was in New York City."
- "It contains an allegation of inappropriate behavior by Schumer on August 25th 2011 in Washington, but Schumer was in France."