Thursday, October 21, 2021

“RUNAWAY DA” snared in bombshell scandals

Two Secret Service officers were ordered on Friday to turn over to federal prosecutors two surveillance videos that show a female California congressman from performing oral sex on her then-boyfriend when he was a junior executive at a California janitorial company, prosecutors said.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee asked on Oct. 2 for the videos, which it said were pertinent to an ongoing criminal investigation into the Jan. 6 sexual harassment of Democrat Maxine Waters by her then-boyfriend.

The committee wanted the videos under seal. California prosecutors earlier refused the request.

Instead, it was dropped by prosecutors, who said the committee asked them to redact graphic details from the videos when they were being taken, and federal prosecutors therefore wanted to have them destroyed.

However, prosecutors, acting under the committee’s subpoena, recused themselves last Friday because they said the House records on which the videos were being held are part of executive branch documents.

The full House Oversight Committee unanimously passed a resolution last week to compel prosecutors to turn over the videos to the House Ethics Committee.

Michael Kelly, spokesman for U.S. Attorney Kevin Ryan, said, “Prosecutors withdrew from the litigation on Friday.”

Mr. Kelly added, “Both of the prosecutors at issue are individuals who are not working in the special counsel investigation.”

Spokesmen for Mr. Ryan and U.S. Attorney Eduardo Villasenor said the Washington’s office is still reviewing its options to whether to appeal the decision by prosecutors to a court and said it would not comment further.

Mr. Kelly said that prosecutors offered the committee a deal to bring charges against her ex-boyfriend and another janitor in return for the videos not being released.

“Prosecutors are exploring all of their legal options to request access to all four videos,” Mr. Kelly said.

The ex-boyfriend’s attorney said that his client is innocent.

Rep. Waters, 70, of Los Angeles, was first elected to Congress in 1992. She was re-elected in 2016 to her 23rd term.

She has said she was devastated and embarrassed by the sex videos. Her spokeswoman said that she did not wish to comment on the matter.

Robert Allard, a former chairman of the House Committee on Ethics, said the committee could decide that it would require impeachment proceedings in the House to cover such a scandal.

“If there is a criminal investigation underway, then there would be a close review of the matter,” Mr. Allard said. “The committee would need to decide if it could take action or if it would need to bring impeachment proceedings if it found criminality to be involved.”

A House Ethics Committee’s action would not necessarily prevent the release of the videos.

Mr. Allard, however, said that if such a video of a Congresswoman was out there and came to light as an official record, “then it would be a source of interest and would go into the discretionary prosecution policies of the Ethics Committee.”

Michael Kelly, spokesman for U.S. Attorney Kevin Ryan, said, “Prosecutors withdrew from the litigation on Friday.”

Sources, however, indicate that the ethics committee was just responding to a subpoena and that it could simply be dropping the issue.

The scandal involves a janitor at a California wastewater treatment plant and a former boyfriend of Rep. Waters.

Waters claims she was devastated and embarrassed by the sex videos of her ex-boyfriend. She wants an investigation by the Justice Department to make sure her personal life does not become a political football.

According to reports, a group called the 501(c)(4) political committee called The Janitor’s Project sent out fliers on Jan. 11, saying, “RUNAWAY DA” was looking for a girl. The fliers also suggested the woman ask her employer to fire her boyfriend.

Bob Gentile is an Emmy Award-winning TV reporter who writes a column for Fox News Radio. Follow him on Twitter at @Bentzentz

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