Eagerly anticipated sexual misconduct testimony against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has overshadowed a similar hearing against a Black former lawmaker that is scheduled for the same day.
The House Financial Services Committee will hear testimony Thursday (September 27) from a Federal Housing Finance Agency employee who accused her boss Mel Watt of making unwanted sexual advances, Politico reported.
Simone Grimes said the former North Carolina congressman made advances during a conversation about her job and salary.
This hearing comes as a third woman has accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, the Guardian reported on Wednesday.
President Barack Obama appointed Watt in 2014 to oversee the independent agency that regulates Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the nation’s dominant mortgage-financing companies.
Politico was first to report the sexual harassment allegations in July after obtaining documents and partial transcripts of tapes.
In one instance, during a 2016 meeting about her job, Watt reportedly wanted to talk about his feelings for Grimes. And in a separate incident, he asked her, “If I kissed that one would it lead to more?” referring to a tattoo on her ankle.
The former congressman denied wrongdoing. “I am confident that the investigation currently in progress will confirm that I have not done anything contrary to law. I will have no further comment while the investigation is in progress,” he stated in July when information about the alleged harassment was leaked.
All eyes Thursday, however, will be on Christine Blasey Ford, the first woman to step forward and accuse Kavanaugh of sexual assault when they were in high school. A second woman, Deborah Ramirez, a Yale classmate of Kavanaugh’s, has also accused the nominee.
The third woman, Julie Swetnick, alleged that she witnessed Kavanaugh at parties in high school drinking heavily and physically abusing girls, including attempting to remove or shift clothing to expose their body parts, according to the Guardian.
Grimes already filed an Equal Employment Opportunity complaint. It’s unclear exactly when she filed it, but the federal government has 180 days to investigate allegations before she can file a lawsuit.