Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Sen. Amy Klobuchar wants Sen. David Perdue to testify over alleged harassment

With her daughter Tracy coming to college in Minnesota looking for a way to help support her, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) sought to help her find a job as a government coordinator.

But Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) wouldn’t help.

Perdue refused to help one of Klobuchar’s former aides secure a state-sponsored job, calling his daughter’s official complaint about hiring practices into question, according to court documents.

Those events led Klobuchar to believe Perdue was intent on using state agencies as a stepping stone to a more powerful job in the White House, her attorney John McArthur and his clients told the Senate Ethics Committee in a May letter.

Now, she’s asking the committee to subpoena Perdue to compel his testimony, according to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the committee’s ranking member.

“The Committee must determine if Perdue has engaged in conduct that raises the appearance or threat of a violation of the Committee’s Standards of Conduct,” Feinstein wrote to committee chair Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.).

Perdue’s attorney wrote to Feinstein Tuesday saying “your statement is not helpful to the investigation” of the allegations.

The lawyer said Perdue didn’t know that Klobuchar had tried to hire a staffer in a prior stint, saying “I am unaware of any formal reprimand or disciplinary action against Senator Klobuchar arising from this employee.”

McArthur told the House Ethics Committee earlier this year that he would have Klobuchar testify at an upcoming hearing. But neither congressional Ethics Committees nor the Senate Ethics Committee have subpoenaed Perdue.

In his May letter to Perdue, McArthur raised the issue that Perdue’s attitude toward Klobuchar’s efforts to land a job and a waiver to serve on a state agency board would “raise questions” about him working for the president.

Perdue’s stance would prevent Klobuchar’s daughter from working as a government coordinator in the governor’s office in Minnesota, which would benefit his daughter.

McArthur said this aspect was “especially troubling” given that President Donald Trump “may want to place an arm’s length from any representative” from states who haven’t already backed his administration.

McArthur accused Perdue of “wearing a black hat” and using his official position to “interfere with” his former aide’s job-placement efforts.

Klobuchar, her lawyers, and Perdue’s attorneys did not respond to requests for comment.

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