Houston Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee is resigning as supervisor of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, after being accused of firing an aide who was allegedly raped by another caucus supervisor in 2015.
The 13-term Democrat is reportedly stepping aside from her chairmanship of an important House Judiciary subcommittee (crime, terrorism, homeland security and investigations), amid growing pressure from within her party to account for the claims.
Jackson-Lee denies she took retaliatory action against the staffer, whe announced she planned to pursue legal action for the rape. The lawmaker has frequently been cited as having one of the highest staff turnover rates among Washington lawmakers.
Jackson-Lee's office issued a statement saying she would not discuss details of the case. It reads in part, “The congresswoman is confident that, once all of the facts come to light, her office will be exonerated of any retaliatory or otherwise improper conduct and this matter will be put to rest."
Meanwhile, other liberal advocacy groups are distancing themselves from the congresswoman. The National Alliance to End Sexual Violence said it could not continue to work with Ms. Jackson Lee as the lead sponsor of legislation reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act.