Three women who publicly accused President Donald Trump of sexual misconduct have called on Congress to investigate his actions.
Samantha Holvey, Rachel Crooks and Jessica Leeds demanded a non-partisan investigation into Mr. Trump’s history at a press conference today.
Crooks, who accused Mr. Trump of kissing her when she worked as a receptionist at Trump Tower in 2005, said it was only fair Congress investigate the president given that it has previously investigated other politicians over similar accusations.
“I think if they were willing to investigate Sen. [Al] Franken, I think it’s only fair they do the same for Trump,” she said.
Franken recently faced a Senate Ethics Committee investigation into his behavior after several women accused him of sexual misconduct. He announced his resignation last week.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at the time that the difference between Trump and the Democratic senator from Minnesota was that “Franken has admitted wrongdoing, and the president hasn’t.”
“This isn’t a partisan issue,” said Holvey, a former Miss USA contestant who accused Mr. Trump of objectifying the pageant’s participants. “This is how women are treated every day.”
Trump dealt with his own wave of sexual misconduct allegations last October, while he was campaigning for president, when a leaked 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape captured Trump boasting to host Billy Bush about grabbing women by the genitals.
Trump apologized for his remarks but defended them as “locker room banter.” He’s denied the allegations against him.
“I shared my story last year because it was relevant,” Crooks said. “Mr. Trump dismissed his words in the ‘Access Hollywood’ tape as locker room talk, but having been the victim of such actions, I knew better.”
Trump drew scrutiny last month when he called out Franken on Twitter but did not immediately comment on allegations against Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, who in recent weeks has been accused by several women of sexual assault when they were teens and Moore was an assistant district attorney.
The president recently endorsed Moore for senator, an action the women called disgusting and horrifying.
All three women, who first reported their allegations when Trump was a candidate, said they were choosing to publicly call for a congressional investigation into Trump’s behavior rather than taking their cases to court because, as Leeds put it, “we have to deal with the public. And we have to deal with attitudes and changing a cultural phenomenon.”
Leeds, who accused the president of putting his hands up her skirt during an encounter with him on a plane in the 1980s, said publicizing the allegations again was a matter of changing public behavior.
The press conference was produced by Brave New Films, a documentary film company founded by Robert Greenwald, who also appeared at the event, echoing the calls for a congressional investigation into the president’s history.