Patrick Meehan

Meehan Ignored Advice Against Interviews

Rep. Patrick Meehan’s (R-PA) “decision to do wrenching interviews with nine news outlets Tuesday bucked the advice of congressional and campaign aides who argued against it,” the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

“Usually cautious in his public comments and often clumsy in his syntax, the Delaware County Republican also declined offers to help prepare for the high-pressure interviews… By the end of it, Meehan’s own words — especially his use of the phrase soul mate to describe the younger aide who had accused him of harassment — turned the story from another Washington scandal into a viral moment ridiculed on cable news and late-night talk shows.”

Republicans Say Meehan Will Have to Step Aside

“Pennsylvania Republicans increasingly believe Rep. Pat Meehan (R-PA), the latest elected official to be tarnished by a sexual harassment claim, will not be able to run for reelection this fall — and it’s now a question of whether he resigns or declares this to be his last term,” the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

“One, who has been in touch with Meehan’s congressional aides, said the Delaware County Republican is being walked through his dim political prospects and weighing his next step, but that a departure is all-but certain.”

Meehan Admits He Saw Younger Aide as a ‘Soul Mate’

In his first comments since a story revealed that he had used thousands of taxpayer dollars to quietly settle a sexual harassment claim, Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-PA) told the Philadelphia Inquirer that he developed “affection” for a younger aide “in a way in which I was struggling to make sure that I would never put that into our professional relationship.”

He admitted that he saw her as a “soul mate” and reacted “selfishly” when she developed a serious relationship with another man but insisted he was loyal to his wife, did not want a romantic relationship and did not harass her.

GOP Lawmaker Settled His Own Harassment Case

Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-PA), “who has taken a leading role in fighting sexual harassment in Congress, used thousands of dollars in taxpayer money to settle his own misconduct complaint after a former aide accused him last year of making unwanted romantic overtures to her,” the New York Times reports.

“A married father of three, Mr. Meehan, 62, had long expressed interest in the personal life of the aide, who was decades younger and had regarded the congressman as a father figure… But after the woman became involved in a serious relationship with someone outside the office last year, Mr. Meehan professed his romantic desires for her — first in person, and then in a handwritten letter — and he grew hostile when she did not reciprocate.”

“She later reached a confidential agreement with Mr. Meehan’s office that included a settlement for an undisclosed amount to be paid from Mr. Meehan’s congressional office fund.”

For members: Republicans Are Reeling In Pennsylvania

This is very bad news for Republicans. They’ll either have a damaged incumbent or an open seat in a very competitive district.