Updated 3:48 p.m. | The forged court complaint outlining sexual harassment claims against Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer directly copied a portion of the authentic court records of similar accusations against Rep. John Conyers, the Daily Beast reported.
Both the completely fabricated Schumer complaint and the authentic Conyers complaint reference “House Rule 23,” which of course would not have applied to Schumer, who was a senator in 2012, the year on the fake complaint document.
Right-wing social media personality Charles Johnson forwarded the now-debunked Schumer document to journalists, lawyers, and members of Congress “after communicating with the source [of the document] through encrypted email and texts,” Johnson wrote in a recent Facebook post. The source “went dark” after their contact, Johnson added.
“I enthusiastically look forward to an investigation,” Johnson, who indicated he has since learned the documents are fake, told The Daily Beast Wednesday.
Schumer and a former staffer became the victims of a fraudulent smear scheme Tuesday after various news outlets were sent the fabricated court document.
“It was a phony allegation, forged. False from start to finish,” Schumer said at a news conference Wednesday. “We are pursuing every legal path.”
Schumer’s office has asked the U.S. Capitol Police to pursue criminal charges once it identifies any suspects after completing an investigation into who forged and proliferated the document, Roll Call confirmed Wednesday.
The 13-page document was forged to appear like a legal complaint lodged in the District of Columbia’s U.S. District Court. In the doctored complaint, a former woman staffer who worked for Schumer from 2009 to 2012 appears to allege incidents of sexual harassment against the senator.
“The document is a forged document and every allegation is false. We have turned it over to the Capitol Police and asked them to investigate and pursue criminal charges because it is clear the law has been broken,” Schumer’s communications director, Matt House, said in a statement.
“We believe the individual responsible for forging the document should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law to prevent other malicious actors from doing the same.”
In an email to Roll Call Wednesday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation deferred comment to the U.S. Capitol Police, whose spokeswoman said the department does not comment on ongoing investigations.
The former staffer to whom the complaint is attributed has denied the veracity of any of the allegations and said the document was a forgery, adding that she left Schumer’s office in 2012.
“The claims in this document are completely false, my signature is forged and even basic facts about me are wrong,” the former staffer listed as the plaintiff in the document told ABC News in a statement.
“I have contacted law enforcement to determine who is responsible. I parted with Senator Schumer’s office on good terms and have nothing but the fondest memories of my time there,” she said.
Multiple outlets have reported they could not match the document to any in a search on the PACER database that D.C.’s U.S. District Court uses.
Schumer was away from the capital — and, in one instance, not even in the country — on at least two of the dates of alleged misconduct, sources told news outlets.
Reporters from the Washington Post, CNN, BuzzFeed, The New Yorker, and ABC all sent queries to Schumer’s office after they were offered the documents, Axios reported Tuesday.