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Right Turn
Posted at 12:57 PM ET, 10/31/2011

Is Cain’s denial plausible?

Herman Cain told Fox News that he never sexually harassed anyone, although he was falsely accused of such at the National Restaurant Association. He then declared: “If the restaurant association did a settlement, I wasn’t even aware of it and I hope it wasn’t for much. If there was a settlement, it was handled by some of the other officers at the restaurant association.”

For that to be true, many things would also have to be true:

●Herman Cain never asked the NRA how the claim got resolved;

●Cain never had to sign a settlement agreement or any other document;

●He trusted the NRA to obtain a complete release on his behalf, and the women never demanded that Cain release potential counterclaims (e.g., for defamation);

●He never agreed to keep the matter confidential — for example, after he left the NRA. (Arguably the association could bind him while he was still employed, but wouldn’t it have had to tell him to ensure compliance?); and

●In his role as CEO, Cain never had to approve a settlement, was never told the cost of the settlement and never saw a budget entry confirming a settlement.

Is this possible? I guess so. Is it probable? Hardly. Take note that he denied knowing not just the amount of the settlement but the fact of the settlement. That’s remarkable. At the very least, it would show an astounding lack of curiosity.

I have submitted a list of questions to the Cain campaign. I have received no response. But sooner or later Cain will have to answer all these and more, or his campaign will be crippled. He should get it done fast.

UPDATE (1:34 p.m.): At the National Press Club, Cain says he recused himself as head of the organization from handling the sexual harassment claim and it was dealt with by the general counsel and human resources person. So he never asked what happened to the accusation? No one ever told him about confidentiality obligations? He never got confirmation that he would be absolved of any personal liability? I am having a hard time understanding how this happened..

By  |  12:57 PM ET, 10/31/2011

Categories:  2012 campaign, law

 
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