Democrats are shedding contributions from Hollywood mogul and liberal political donor Harvey Weinstein after he was accused of serial sexual harassment this week.
Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and several colleagues will send money Weinstein gave their campaign funds to women’s charities and groups that combat sexual violence, their offices confirmed by email Friday.
The Democratic National Committee said it would donate “over $30,000” to groups that help Democratic women win elections and took the opportunity to slam President Trump for making lewd comments about women and facing his own allegations of sexual harassment in the past.
“The Democratic Party condemns all forms of sexual harassment and assault,” DNC Communications Director Xochitl Hinojosa said in an emailed statement. “We hope that Republicans will do the same as we mark one year since the release of a tape showing President Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women followed by more than a dozen women who came forward to detail similar experiences of assault and harassment.”
Democrats began giving up Weinstein’s donations after the New York Times reported Thursday that he had faced allegations of sexual harassment over a period of nearly three decades and reached at least eight settlements with accusers. The Republican National Committee and the GOP opposition-research-group America Rising PAC had pounced on the news and called for Democrats to denounce Weinstein and let go of his contributions.
“There is no excuse for these Democrats to hold onto Weinstein’s campaign contributions for a minute longer. That it has taken them this long to say anything, is by itself a disgrace,” America Rising said Friday in an unsigned statement.
Weinstein has also made donations to Hillary Clinton, former president Barack Obama, state Democratic parties and liberal political action groups, according to campaign finance records. After the Times published its piece, Weinstein apologized, threatened to sue the paper and said he planned to take a leave of absence. Weinstein will be suspended from his film company pending an internal investigation into the harassment claims, the Associated Press reported Friday evening.
Through an aide, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) suggested Republicans use “this terrible story as a political tool to join her in actually working to combat sexual assault and sexual harassment in our society.”
“They can start by endorsing her bipartisan legislation to end sexual violence on college campuses and in our military,” Gillibrand senior adviser Glen Caplin said in an emailed statement.
Gillibrand will donate $11,800 to RAINN, an anti-sexual-assault group, spokeswoman Whitney Brennan said.
Schumer will donate Weinstein’s $14,200 in contributions to women’s charities, spokesman Matt House said.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) donated $5,000 to Casa Myrna, a Boston nonprofit organization that fights domestic and dating violence, spokeswoman Kristen Orthman said.
Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) donated $5,400 to Community Against Violence in Taos, N.M., spokeswoman Marsha Garcia said.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) will give $2,700 to the Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence, spokeswoman Maria McElwain said.
Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) will give contributions from Weinstein, including those to his political action committee, to the Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center, spokesman Ed Shelleby said.
Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) will donate $5,600 to the Women’s Fund at the Vermont Community Foundation, Leahy campaign manager Carolyn Dwyer said.
Other reported donations, including a plan by Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) to give $7,800 to the New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault, could not be immediately confirmed.
Emails asking the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee whether they planned to return or donate Weinstein’s contributions were not immediately returned.
The DNC will give to Emily’s List, Emerge America and Higher Heights, Hinojosa stated.
Weinstein gave the DNC at least $246,290 since 1994 and the DCCC at least $23,200 since 1993, according to America Rising.