Rep. David Wu To Resign Following Sexual Assault Accusations

Jul 26, 2011 12:31pm

ABC News' Amy Bingham and John R. Parkinson (JRPabcDC) report:

Rep. David Wu announced today that he will resign from Congress “upon the resolution of the debt-ceiling crisis.” His announcement comes three days after reports surfaced that the seven-term Democratic congressman engaged in an “unwanted sexual encounter” with a young California woman last November.

“The time has come to hand on the privilege of high office. I cannot care for my family the way I wish while serving in Congress and fighting these very serious allegations,” Wu, D-Oregon, said in a statement. “The wellbeing of my children must come before anything else. With great sadness, I therefore intend to resign effective upon the resolution of the debt-ceiling crisis.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called yesterday for an ethics investigation into the alleged sexual assault.

“Recent press reports and statements attributed to our colleague, Representative David Wu, indicate that he may have engaged in inappropriate activities. An investigation by the Ethics Committee to determine if the Rules of the House of Representatives have been violated is warranted,” Pelosi, D-Calif., wrote in a letter to Ethics Committee Chairman Jo Bonner and Ranking Member Linda Sanchez.

This is the second time calls for Wu’s resignation have reached a fever pitch. During his re-election campaign in October Wu sent a self portrait showing the lawmaker wearing a full-body tiger costume to his congressional staff. Shortly afterward seven of his staff members resigned, claiming the congressman was unstable and should seek psychiatric help.

Wu will become the fifth member of the House of Representatives to resign from the 112th Congress – the third member to resign in disgrace.

Democrats:

  • Jane Harman (resigned to take over Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars)
  • Anthony Weiner (Social Media / sex scandal)
  • David Wu (Sex scandal)

Republicans:

  • Christopher Lee (Craigslist flexing photo)
  • Dean Heller (Resigned House seat after he was appointed to fill John Ensign’s Nevada Senate seat)

Wu's full statement:

Washington, DC — Congressman David Wu issued the following statement of resignation from the United States House of Representatives:

“It has been the greatest privilege of my life to be a United States Congressman. Rare is the nation in which an immigrant child can become a national political figure. I thank God and my parents for the privilege of being an American.

“Now, however, the time has come to hand on the privilege of high office. I cannot care for my family the way I wish while serving in Congress and fighting these very serious allegations.

“The wellbeing of my children must come before anything else. With great sadness, I therefore intend to resign effective upon the resolution of the debt-ceiling crisis. This is the right decision for my family, the institution of the House, and my colleagues.

“It is also the only correct decision to avoid any distraction from the important work at hand in Washington. I intend to go forward with new resolve and love of family, the State of Oregon, and our nation.”

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