The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will vote on the nomination of former Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti as ambassador to India after his nomination lay in the chamber for more than 600 days as senators grappled with Garcetti’s possible knowledge of a sexual harassment scandal in his office.
President Biden nominated Garcetti in July 2021. After clearing his first hurdle on the committee, Garcetti failed to get a full vote in the Senate after new revelations about a sexual harassment lawsuit involving his former top adviser came to light and Republicans and some Democrats oppose his confirmation.
Biden re-nominated Garcetti earlier this year, with the White House claiming he has Biden’s full support and is “well qualified to fill this critical role.”
Republicans have remained stubborn, including Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who dropped out of the nomination last month, saying Garcetti “ignored credible allegations of sexual assault in his previous office” and called the nomination “absurd.”
ALLEGATIONS OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT NO SHUTDOWN FOR WA NOMINATION OF FORMER LA MAYOR GARCETTI
Former Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti delivered the State of the City Address from the under-construction Sixth Street Viaduct on April 14, 2022 in Los Angeles. (Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
Those allegations emerge in an ongoing lawsuit against Rick Jacobs, Garcetti’s former chief of staff. Jacobs faces charges of sexual harassment in the form of inappropriate comments, unwanted kissing and touching, and sexual advances toward a male LAPD officer assigned to Garcetti’s security detail, a male reporter, and other whistleblowers.
Naomi Seligman, Garcetti’s former communications director and an alleged victim of Jacob’s sexual harassment, is being represented by Whistleblower Aid, a non-profit organization actively involved with Capitol Hill on her behalf.
LA MAYOR GARCETTI ‘PROBABLY KNEW’ ABOUT ‘WIDESPREAD’ SEXUAL HARASSMENT, RACIST COMMENTS FROM EX COUNSEL: SENATE REPORT
I’m a lifelong Democrat, but this is an issue beyond partisan politics,” she told Fox News Digital in a statement. “If we are serious about listening to whistleblowers and sexual assault survivors — and leaders on both sides of the aisle say they are — we can’t suddenly shy away from when the abusers or their facilitators happen to be party insiders. We can don’t let morality be so flexible,” Seligman said.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti attends the Season 2 premiere of the television series “Ted Lasso” at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, California, July 15, 2021. (REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni)
“The case against Garcetti is clear and well documented, which is why he has not been able to get confirmation for more than 600 days. He is unfit to serve, and the sooner senators from both sides recognize that, the better.”
Senior Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa., opened an investigation into the matter with his office last year, conducting interviews with 15 witnesses and examining 26 statements and other documentary evidence, including emails and text messages. Grassley’s investigative staff concluded that Garcetti “probably knew, or should have known, that his former senior adviser was sexually harassing and making racial slurs against multiple individuals.”
RUBIO HOLDS BIDEN NOMINATED ERIC GARCETTI BACK TO SEXUAL HARASSMENT SCAND
Garcetti testified to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last year that he was only informed of the lawsuit allegations and had no prior knowledge of the allegations. The White House previously called Grassley’s investigation a partisan “hit job.”
Former LA mayor Eric Garcetti (Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times via AP, Pool, File)
Last February, Whitleblower Aid accused Garcetti of lying under oath twice, first when he was impeached on Feb. 8, 2021 as part of Jacobs’ predatory conduct trial, and then when questioned by Senator Jeanne Shaheen, DN.H . , at his confirmation hearing on December 14, 2021.
The group sent a complaint to law enforcement agencies, including the Justice Department, the California Attorney General’s office, and the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office.
“Eric Garcetti knowingly allowed his top lieutenant to harass, assault and bully those close to him, not just once, but repeatedly and blatantly,” said founder and Chief Disclosure Officer John Tye, who represents Seligman , at the time. “He then repeatedly lied under oath about it. We call on the police to prosecute these crimes and senators to block this appointment.”
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
The vote for Garcetti’s nomination is scheduled for Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. ET at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee meeting.
Brianna Herlihy is a political writer for Fox News Digital.