Legal Filings

Legal Filings
Nov 27, 2012

CREW Files Complaint Against Rep. Scott DesJarlais for Lying About Sexual Misconduct

Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-TN)

Washington, D.C. Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) alleging Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-TN) violated House rules by blatantly lying to the public when confronted about an inappropriate sexual relationship he had with a patient while serving as her treating physician. 

Read the complaint against Rep. DesJarlais

In October, a transcript of a telephone conversation between the doctor-turned-congressman and the unidentified woman was released revealing the pro-life congressman urging the woman, who he believed might have been pregnant with his child, to have an abortion.  Rep. DesJarlais stated he had not recorded the conversation, claiming it “was recorded unknowingly without my consent.”  Recently released testimony from the congressman’s divorce proceedings proves Rep. DesJarlais intentionally and knowingly recorded the call.  Under oath, he testified that he and his wife recorded the conversation to discern whether the mistress/patient was lying about her pregnancy. 

“Apparently, Rep. DesJarlais suffered a convenient memory block until a transcript from his divorce refreshed his recollection after he was reelected,” said CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan.  “Taping a conversation with a mistress doesn’t seem like something you would easily forget, but maybe now he will argue his memory was clouded by the pot he was smoking at the time, or he confused that mistress with one of his many others.”

Rep. DesJarlais also claimed — and continues to claim — the patient was not pregnant and did not have an abortion.  Testifying under oath in Rep. DesJarlais’ divorce case, however, the woman asserted that, in fact, she was pregnant and fairly confident Rep. DesJarlais was the father.  Nevertheless, she refused to comment on the outcome of the pregnancy, but said she had no children by Rep. DesJarlais.

“It is clear Rep. DesJarlais lied to ensure his telling of events aligns with his current anti-abortion stance.  Apparently, his views have ‘evolved’ to the point where he now believes abortions should be illegal for everyone except the women with whom he sleeps,” continued Ms. Sloan, who noted the congressman seemingly had urged his wife to have two abortions. “Rep. DesJarlais’ constituents may have overlooked his reprehensible conduct and numerous lies, but hopefully, the House will not.  Whatever happened to Speaker Boehner’s much touted ‘zero tolerance’ for misconduct?”

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