GOP Rep Believed Sexual Harassment Accuser Was His 'Soul Mate'

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The complaint by the former aide came to light Saturday in a New York Times report that cited unnamed people.

Meehan's office did not respond to questions about whether he used taxpayer money to settle the case or whether he would submit to the Ethics Committee investigation.

"If an expression that I was trying to make sure that I didn't cross a boundary and a letter that supports a new relationship can be conceived to be serious sexual harassment", he told the Daily Times, "then I think that we're crossing a line, and that appears to be a big part of how we got here today".

He calls her a soulmate but denies any sexual harassment.

Although Meehan admitted to acting selfishly, he told The Inquirer that he did not pursue a romantic relationship with the aide.

Meehan also confirmed he would run for re-election in the 7th Congressional District, which he has represented since 2010. "As we travel our paths together, I am comforted that there is more unwritten", writes Meehan.He says that "in hindsight" he should have been more aware of the power dynamic between the two - he as a member of Congress and she as a staffer.

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The report had said that Meehan, a 62 year-old married father-of-three and the former US attorney in Philadelphia, had been a mentor for the unnamed aide.

Patrick Meehan, a Republican congressman from Pennsylvania, apparently penned a letter to a female aide thanking God "for putting you into my life" and stating: "You are kind and sensitive and caring and infectious with your laugh". The district's boundaries could change too after the Pennsylvania state Supreme Court recently struck down the state's congressional district map as a violation of state law and ordered new districts to be drawn before February 15.

Asked if a subordinate might not feel comfortable expressing discomfort or rejecting the note, Meehan said "in hindsight" he "should have been looking at it from the perspective of a subordinate and a superior". "She continues to prize her privacy and is not going to breach".

However, he denied he harassed the women and argued the payment was "severance", according to The Inquirer.

Meehan, a married father of three, a former federal prosecutor and the second-ranking Republican on the House Ethics Committee, rode the Tea Party wave of the 2010 midterm elections to the Capitol.

"At Congressman Meehan's request, the congressional attorneys handling the case have asked the complainant's counsel to release all parties from the confidentiality requirements of the agreement to ensure a full and open airing of all the facts", Elizandro said. Information technology consultant Drew McGinty said the settlement "is just another example of Washington's incompetence when handling issues related to sexual misconduct", while attorney Dan Muroff said House leadership should strip Meehan of his committee assignments if he does not resign. "Every step of the process was handled ethically and appropriately".