Congressman will resign in wake of sex allegation
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic Rep. David Wu of Oregon announced Tuesday that he will resign amid the political fallout from an 18-year-old woman’s allegations of an unwanted sexual encounter with him.
Wu had already said that he would not seek re-election, but he had come under increasing pressure to step down. Shortly after the allegations broke, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi requested a House Ethics Committee investigation of his conduct.
“The well-being of my children must come before anything else,” Wu said in a statement. “With great sadness, I therefore intend to resign effective upon the resolution of the debt-ceiling crisis. This is the right decision for my family, the institution of the House and my colleagues.”
Wu is the second House Democrat in the last six weeks to be forced to resign following allegations of sexual misconduct. Rep. Anthony Weiner of New York resigned after sending lewd photos of himself through Twitter. Wu faced allegations in his 2004 campaign that he had sexually assaulted a former girlfriend when they were students at Stanford University in the 1970s
Wu, a Yale-educated lawyer, was elected to Congress in 1998 as the first Chinese-American to serve in the House. He’s maintained a centrist voting record but has been a leading voice on human rights abuses in China. He angered the high-tech firms in his district when he voted against normalizing trade relations with China.
Wu’s hometown newspaper, the Oregonian, reported on Friday night that a California woman had called Wu’s office in Portland and reported an unwanted sexual encounter with him around Thanksgiving. The paper also reported that Wu told senior aides the sexual encounter was consensual.
The newspaper said the woman decided not to press charges because there were no witnesses and it would have been her word against Wu’s.