Amid Cohen Hype, Don’t Forget Congress Had A Hush Fund To Secretly Pay Off Women

Special Counsel Robert Mueller just recently indicted lawyer Michael Cohen, who was previously employed by President Trump, for violating campaign finance laws.

The investigative team is accusing Cohen of not reporting the use of his and Trump’s money to pay off women that Trump had sexual relations with. Furthermore, the team claims Cohen paid the women in order to “influence an election.”

That sounds familiar… like how Congress had a secret hush fund to pay off women that members of Congress have sexual relations with. Certainly, those payments are made in order to “influence an election.”

A betting man would probably wager several (most? all?) of the members who used the secret funds would not have been re-elected if voters knew which members were using the funds, how much money was being paid out, how often this happens, and who is being paid.

The secret funds were first revealed last year by the Congressional Office Of Compliance.

Here’s a Daily Caller report from 2017 with more information:

The Congressional Office Of Compliance (OOC) released a year-by-year breakdown Wednesday of harassment settlements, including the $17 million awarded to victims throughout the past decade.

The OCC said it decided to release the information regarding payment of awards and settlements regarding all types of harassment due to the mass amounts of recent inquiries. In the released statement, OCC executive director Susan Tsui Grundmann explained that these cases originate from multiple offices inside of the legislative branch, other than the House or the Senate.

“Based on the volume of recent inquiries regarding payment of awards and settlements reached under the CAA, I am releasing these figures beginning with Fiscal Year 1997, up to and including FY 2017,” Grundmann wrote. “A large portion of cases originate from employing offices in the legislative branch other than the House of Representatives or the Senate, and involve various statutory provisions incorporated by the CAA, such as the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.”

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Here’s the breakdown:

According to the information, harassment payout averages fluctuated each year with almost $400,000 per victim in 2002 and slightly more than $100,000 per victim in 2017.

Some people online quickly expressed support for knowing more about the secret funds:

Republican Congressman Ron DeSantis introduced legislation to eliminate the secret fund which also allowed full transparency of any new funds that go to pay people for their silence regarding sexual relations.

Here’s more, from DeSantis:

Congressman DeSantis introduced a bipartisan bill to protect taxpayers by making congressional settlement data public and barring tax dollars from being used to bail out congressional misconduct.

In February 2018, Congressman DeSantis’ transparency provisions were included in the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 Reform Act when it unanimously passed the House.

We must stand up for victims of sexual harassment, and the necessary reforms to the Congressional Accountability Act authored by Congressman DeSantis will help foster a culture of respect on Capitol Hill.

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