The political ramifications of the Harvey Weinstein scandal expanded Tuesday as the National Republican Congressional Committee called on its Democratic counterpart to return money that the Hollywood producer donated to help elect Democrats to the House.
Weinstein’s donations to support House Democrats have been far outstripped by the sums he gave to elect Democratic Senate and presidential candidates. But he wrote checks to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in 1993, 2011 and 2013 totaling $23,200, and the GOP is pouncing.
An NRCC web video released Tuesday recounts the allegations of sexual harassment and, in some cases, assault against Weinstein that were published over the past week in the New York Times and New Yorker magazine. It includes photos of Weinstein with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, as well as an excerpt of Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) telling CNN anchor Jake Tapper that “people that took money from him should probably give it back.”
Several Democratic politicians, including Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.) and at least six Senate colleagues, have made donations to women’s charities offsetting Weinstein’s contributions, some of which date back 20 years or more. The Democratic National Committee also said it would make donations to charity in response to the Weinstein reports.
DCCC representatives did not respond immediately to messages seeking comment Tuesday. The Washington Post previously contacted the organization on Friday regarding Weinstein’s giving and received no comment. However, late Tuesday, DCCC said it will donate all the contributions it received from Weinstein to women’s groups.
In a statement to the Times, Weinstein seemed to admit at least some wrongdoing. “I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it,” he said, but he did not detail that behavior.
“In light of these allegations, it’s time for Democrats to return Harvey Weinstein’s dirty money,” said Matt Gorman, the NRCC’s communications director. “The DCCC’s silence is unconscionable and they cannot excuse years of abuse by one of their donors.”
Weinstein made scattered contributions to Democratic House campaigns over his 25 years of political giving. Of the recipients, only Rep. Rosa DeLauro (Conn.), who received a 1996 contribution of $1,000, remains in office. DeLauro said Friday that she will donate $1,000 to Domestic Violence Services of Greater New Haven.