One of the cocky Democrats responsible for writing the party’s widely-criticized, “unfair” impeachment rules that were voted on this week is reportedly a habitual rule breaker who’s been caught employing his own girlfriend in his congressional office.
That Democrat is House Rules Committee vice-chair Alcee Hastings of Florida, who this week joined his fellow equally cocky Democrats in stonewalling efforts by Republicans to install just a modicum of fairness in their otherwise unfair and unjust impeachment rules.
Cocky Dems stonewall GOP over unfair impeachment rules during contentious meeting https://t.co/6puPuUlcpO
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) October 31, 2019
According to an investigation by The Palm Beach Post, this top-ranking Democrat rule-maker has himself been violating House rules by allegedly maintaining a relationship and even cohabitating with one of his staffers.
“Hastings, 83, has employed a disbarred lawyer, Patricia Williams, on his congressional staff since at least 2000. She has been paid nearly $3 million in taxpayer-funded salary since that time,” the outlet reported Thursday.
“Property records show Williams and Hastings bought a $700,000 house together near Boynton Beach in 2017.”
When questioned about this incredible purchase, Hastings seemed to dismiss the Post’s concerns about potential ethics violations.
“However it looks, it’s been looking like that for 25 years,” he reportedly said.
It’s not clear whether there’s ever before in American history been a case of a congressman and his staffer purchasing a home together.
What’s known is that last year the then-GOP-led House-passed “new rules barring members of Congress from having a sexual relationship with a member of his or her staff” and decreed that anyone who violated the new rules could face potential expulsion.
“A Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner may not engage in a sexual relationship with any employee of the House who works under the supervision of the Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner, or who is an employee of a committee on which the Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner serves,” the House’s updated code of conduct reads.
The only exception is for married couples. Hastings and his alleged paramour are not married.
— Cr8z13 (@Cr8z13) October 28, 2019
The Post’s report comes only days after disgraced former freshman California Rep. Katie Hill announced her resignation from office over her own violations of these rules.
The allegations against Hill involved her first having an illicit affair with a campaign staffer during the midterms last year, and then having yet another affair — this time with a congressional aide — after her inauguration into office this past January.
The allegations against Hastings, a 26-year congressional veteran, meanwhile, extend beyond the latest matter involving his staffer. Nine years ago, a congressional staffer who worked on the U.S. Helsinki Commission accusing then-commission chairman Hastings of sexual harassment.
“[The victim] alleged that she ‘was forced to endure’ repeated ‘unwelcome sexual advances, crude sexual comments and unwelcome touching’ by Hastings,” NBC News revealed in a report on sexual harassment two years ago.
“In describing the incidents, [she] alleged that Hastings had hugged her multiple times, sometimes in front of witnesses at public events, pressing his whole body against her, and his face to her face. [She] also claimed that after she complained to the commission’s staff director, she was subject to threats of retaliation by both the director and Hastings himself, including ‘threats of termination.'”
Three years later, Congress used taxpayer funds to provide the victim with a $220,000 settlement payment.
I don’t trust democrats with our taxpayer money:
— #ThePersistence (@ScottPresler) December 19, 2017
But as horrific as this sounds, it’s not the worst of the congressman’s antics. Prior to joining Congress in 2013, he worked for ten years as a district judge – up until he was impeached from office in 1989 for having accepted a $150,000 bribe.
Here’s the kicker: The attorney who represented him during the impeachment hearings was Williams, i.e., his current alleged girlfriend.
“Before she was disbarred for misusing client funds, Williams represented Hastings in the 1980s when Hastings was impeached and removed from his position as a U.S. District Court judge,” the Post confirmed. “After he won a seat in the House in 1992, he hired Williams, who is listed by LegiStorm as his deputy district director.”
Apparently, Hastings’ beau is just as corrupt as him.
What with the congressman’s sordid history, one would think that Rules Committee chair Ted Deutch might think it proper to open an investigation into him. Especially given that he, Deutch, was one of the co-sponsors of the House’s new rules pertaining to relationships. But according to the Post, he just doesn’t seem interested in the matter.
“Questions The Post asked Deutch’s office about Hastings were directed to a staff member of the Ethics Committee, who would not comment,” the outlet reported.
Republicans, however, were more than willing to offer their take.
“His flouting of the rules is legendary. This is open and shut. He is in violation,” Rep. Barbara Comstock of Virginia said about Hastings’ alleged violations.
Lateresa Jones, one of Hastings’ Republican challengers in the upcoming 2020 race, agreed with the sentiment, though she aimed her fury at Deutch instead.
“Congressman Ted Deutch needs to grow some (courage) and do the right thing by the people,” she said. “This behavior is not acceptable. Alcee Hastings is not above the law.”
Or is he?
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