A male “Democratic operative” was arrested for allegedly assaulting a female Interior Department press secretary following a House budget hearing, the Daily Caller reported.
The assault happened Thursday after Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke finished speaking before the House Committee on Natural Resources about the department’s 2019 budget proposal. According to the report, the suspect indentified himself as a reporter with American Bridge, knocked the woman to the floor and chased after Zinke.
Press secretary Heather Swift told The Daily Caller the suspect “was much bigger than her and acted like a lunatic.” Swift called his actions “violent” and “very physical.”
She also said she believes the liberal activist targeted her and that Democrats need to admonish the behavior.
“Democrats claim to support women but they allow their operatives to assault women,” Swift told the Daily Caller.
According to published reports, Interior communications director Laura Rigas said she was “greatly alarmed and extremely irate that a female senior member of my DOI Communications team was physically assaulted today by a Democrat staffer from the PAC American Bridge.”
Interior leaders filed a police report that has not yet been processed, the Daily Caller reported. Once processed, it will be publicly available within seven to 10 days.
“We are appalled to hear of the events following yesterday’s hearing where a member of Secretary Zinke’s staff was victim to an assault,” committee spokeswoman Katie Schoettler told the Daily Caller.
“These actions are reprehensible and have no place in this body. We thank the U.S. Capitol Police for their quick response and professionalism,” she said. “The USCP is now handling the matter.”
“Police took the suspect into custody on Thursday. The adult male was arrested for simple assault against another person outside room 1324 in the Longworth House Office Building,” according to published reports. The suspect was taken to Capitol Police headquarters for processing.
What is American Bridge?
American Bridge is a political action committee dedicated to “holding Republicans accountable for their words and actions and helping you ascertain when Republican candidates are pretending to be something they’re not,” its website states.
The group is also known for “having operatives follow Republican candidates on the campaign trail,” according to the Daily Caller.
Democratic operative David Brock founded American Bridge in 2010. He has since raised “tens of millions of dollars to support liberal candidates,” according to reports. The is called an “opposition research hub of the Democratic fundraising apparatus.”
Top donors to the group include billionaire George Soros, who has donated at least $1 million to the group. NextGen Climate Action, founded by Tom Steyer, regularly donates money to the group, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.