Rep. David Wu (D-Ore.) kept a low profile Monday in the Capitol following allegations of sexual misconduct and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s call for an ethics investigation.
House Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson (Conn.), who spoke with Wu on Monday, stopped short of suggesting that the Oregon lawmaker step down but said Wu “doesn’t have many choices or options.”
“I did tell him as things unravel, I’d be in a position where I have to sit in judgment over him, and I would retain a neutral position, but recent events should guide him in terms of how things can unravel around here,” Larson told reporters, referencing the recent scandal that forced disgraced Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) to resign from office.
While Wu kept mum, Pelosi (D-Calif.) wrote to the House Ethics Committee to request that it examine the allegations against him. Wu has offered only a brief statement since the Oregonian reported Friday that “a distraught young woman” called his Portland office this spring, “accusing him of an unwanted sexual encounter.”
“This is very serious, and I have absolutely no desire to bring unwanted publicity, attention or stress to a young woman and her family,” Wu said in the statement.
The Oregonian reported Monday that it had confirmed that the young woman was 18 years old at the time of the alleged encounter, which it said took place around Thanksgiving 2010. Wu was 55 years old at the time.
The seven-term lawmaker is not expected to run for re-election, according to a Democratic source, but he also will not step down despite calls back home for him to do so. Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian, one of two Democrats running against Wu, said the Congressman should step down because of his “serious misconduct.”
Terri Henderson, 6, center, whose mother is El Salvador, attends a rally with members of Congress at Union Station's Columbus Circle to announce the Restore Opportunity, Strengthen, and Improve the Economy (ROSIE) Act on July 29, 2014. The legislation provides incentives for government contractors to pay a living wage and other benefits that would help low-income workers.