Apparently, House Speaker Paul Ryan didn't ask Pennsylvania Republican Representative Patrick Meehan if there was any private reason outside of his position on the House Ethics committee that would prevent him from conducting an effective role in redefining how sexual misconduct claims are handled in Congress.
Revelations that Congressman Meehan actually made a settlement with a decades younger aide in 2017 caught Speaker Ryan by surprise. AshLee Strong, a spokeswoman for the said that “this is new information to us” when asked about the settlement in a brief interview on Friday.
The New York Times interviewed 10 people including friends and former colleagues of the former aide and others who worked around the office. The young woman is a family friend of the Meehan's and became so demoralized by the Congressman's antagonistic behavior when she became involved with a new boyfriend, that she filed a complaint with the congressional Office of Compliance in the summer of 2017, alleging sexual harassment. The events that followed underscore why women typically don't file complaints against members of Congress. Now Meehan is theoretically empowered to change those procedures with new ones much fairer to victims. The Times writes a Rep. Jackie Speier's playbook expose. Speier's is leading the charge in Congress to reform current procedures: