Amidst growing public outrage surrounding sexual misconduct in the halls of Congress, Barbara Comstock of Virginia’s 10th Congressional District, has been, all of a sudden, one of the most outspoken critics of the accused. In addition to claiming she can be the ‘voice’ of sexual assault and harassment victims on Capitol Hill, Comstock recently sponsored a resolution, which passed unanimously, requiring all members of Congress to complete anti-harassment training and anti-discrimination training.
Comstock has received praise following her most recent foray into the hot-button debate on sexual misconduct, as she did in 2016 after calling for then-candidate Donald Trump to drop out of the Republican Primary following the release of the so-called ‘Access Hollywood Tapes,’ in which the President spoke of consensual sexual activity, as well as after attacking Judge Roy Moore of Alabama, claiming he ‘should not serve in the US Senate’ despite the fact that many claims against the Judge have been disproven, or called into question. This has left many in the 10th District, and across the political battlefield of Virginia, wondering how sincere Congresswoman Comstock may actually be, and has left many Virginians wondering if the Congresswoman may be covering her tracks.
Despite her tough talk on sexual misconduct, it would appear Congresswoman Comstock was well aware of not only sexual harassment and assault, but of taxpayer funds being used to keep victims quiet. For her entire tenure in Congress, Comstock has sat on the Committee on House Administration, and during that time, the committee has authorized payment of 36 different settlements to victims and alleged victims of sexual misconduct, racking up a grand total of over $2 million taxpayer dollars.
In an email regarding these revelations sent by Comstock’s primary challenger Shak Hill, no punches are pulled. Hill emphatically states, ‘I find the very notion of this practice to be reprehensible, a disgrace to our way of life, and something that is an embarrassment not only to Barbara Comstock but to the U.S. Congress.’ Hill continues to make his point heard, echoing the sentiments of voters across Virginia, and the United States, as he says, ‘I call on Barbara Comstock to immediately release the names of every person who has received the benefit and protection from this committee. She knows the names and is lying when she says she doesn’t. Hush money does not get allocated without her committee’s approval.’
Also of note, Barbara Comstock is missing from the list of cosponsors to the bill proposed by Ron Desantis, Marsha Blackburn and others to release the names of those who are accused of sexual misconduct. Under this bill called the “Congressional Accountability and Hush Fund Elimination Act”, the following changes would be made:
- Require disclosure within 30 calendar days of all settlement payments funded by taxpayers, the reason for the payment and the nature of the allegation, and the member of Congress or congressional staffer implicated in the matter.
- Prohibit the future use of taxpayer dollars to pay sexual harassment and sexual assault claims against members of Congress and staff.
- Prohibit members of Congress from using office budgets to camouflage payments.
- Require members of Congress and staff that have ever been named in a sexual harassment or sexual assault settlement paid for by taxpayers reimburse the U.S. Treasury with interest.
- Any individual who received an award may make public statements about the claims notwithstanding the terms of a nondisclosure agreement and nondisclosure agreements cannot be made a condition of any future settlements.
Politics Elections made several attempts to contact Congresswoman Comstock for comment before publishing this article. No response was received.