GOP Demands Information on Massa Probe

Posted March 11, 2010 at 11:51am

Republican House lawmakers will formally demand an investigation to determine Democratic leaders’ knowledge and reaction to allegations that ex-Rep. Eric Massa (D-N.Y.) sexually harassed his aides, Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced Thursday.

The Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, which lost jurisdiction over Massa when he resigned, closed its inquiry Wednesday.

Massa announced last week that he would not seek re-election, citing a recurrence of cancer. That decision was followed days later by his announcement that he would resign before his term expired.

He denied harassing his aides in two national television interviews Tuesday night, even as he acknowledged having used profane language and aggressively tickling a male aide.

House Republicans plan to demand a new investigation focusing on when Democratic leaders first learned of the allegations against Massa and how they responded.

The resolution is expected to be modeled on one introduced by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in 2006, when she was the Minority Leader, regarding allegations that then-Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) sent sexually explicit e-mail messages to a House page.

A spokesman for Pelosi did not immediately return a telephone call for comment.

According to a copy of the resolution, the House would direct the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct to form an investigation subcommittee within 10 days.

The resolution states the investigation would cover “which House Democratic leaders and members of their respective staffs had knowledge prior to March 3, 2010 of the aforementioned allegations concerning Mr. Massa, and what actions each leader and staffer having any such knowledge took after learning of the allegations.”