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Gillibrand Aide Resigned Last Summer Over Handling of Her Sexual Harassment Complaint

Gillibrand Aide Resigned Last Summer Over Handling of Her Sexual Harassment Complaint

“She kept a harasser on her staff until it proved politically untenable for her to do so.”

Sen. Kristin Gillibrand (D-NY), one of the many running for the Democrat nomination for president, has championed herself as a top supporter of the #MeToo movement.

But now Politico reported that an aide within Gillibrand’s office resigned last summer due to the handling of her sexual harassment complaint against Abbas Malik, one of Gillabrand’s top aides.

From Politico:

In July, the female staffer alleged one of Gillibrand’s closest aides — who was a decade her senior and married — repeatedly made unwelcome advances after the senator had told him he would be promoted to a supervisory role over her. She also said the male aide regularly made crude, misogynistic remarks in the office about his female colleagues and potential female hires.

Less than three weeks after reporting the alleged harassment and subsequently claiming that the man retaliated against her for doing so, the woman told chief of staff Jess Fassler that she was resigning because of the office’s handling of the matter. She did not have another job lined up.

The woman was granted anonymity because she fears retaliation and damage to her future professional prospects.

The woman lashed out at Gillibrand’s hypocrisy in a letter, which never received a response from anyone in the office. She wrote that on July 25, 2018, she told Deputy Chief of Staff Anne Bradley about harassment from Malik. On July 30, 2018, Bradley and Chief of Staff Jess Fassler told the woman “that the office and Senate HR concluded they did not find cause to fire Abbas for sexual harassment” as “it was a series of misinterpretations and too much of a ‘he said, she said’ situation.

However, the office demoted Malik, which satisfied the woman for one day. On July 31, Bradley came into the woman’s office:

On Tuesday, July 31, 2018, Anne came into my office and said that “Jess told Abbas that he could have fired him for a number of reasons but isn’t going to. So he should consider himself lucky.” Thinking I had full support of the office, I was deeply confused and saddened by this. Later that afternoon, I decided to discuss this with Jess and Anne. Jess responded to me by saying “You could also be fired at any minute, for any reason.” I felt defeated, not just from the humiliation and pain that the harassment had brought me, but that in attempting to seek appropriate disciplinary actions for my harasser, my experience was devalued. I was devalued.

On Monday, August 13, 2018, after discussing my resignation with Jess, he said to me, “I could have fired you too. You fed Abbas alcohol while he was on duty.” That statement is grossly inaccurate and I felt as though I was being belittled, insulted and intimidated even when I was trying to quit.

The woman lamented over the result of 2016, but felt excited to work for Gillibrand, “a politician who would fight for women’s rights at a time when they were being openly threatened in our country.” She said she wanted to specifically work for Gillibrand because of the senator’s “strong stance on sexual harassment in the workplace, committee to work as a champion for women and desire for transparency in politics.”

The woman ended the letter:

I trusted and leaned on this statement that you made: “You need to draw a line in the sand and say none of it is O.K. None of it is acceptable.” Your office chose to go against your public belief that women shouldn’t accept sexual harassment in any form and portrayed my experience as a misinterpretation instead of what it actually was: harassment and ultimately, intimidation.”

Politico discovered that the aides who led the investigation into the woman’s claim did not reach out to the two former employees the woman claimed “could corroborate and add to her allegations of inappropriate workplace conduct.”

Politico contacted 20 former staffers from Gillibrand’s office:

One of those two former staffers said Malik often called her fat and unattractive to her face and made light of sexual abuse. She recalled one instance in which Malik remarked that a particular woman they were talking about “couldn’t get laid unless she was raped.” The person did not report that behavior at the time but now says she wishes she had.

Two more staffers who worked for Gillibrand said the woman’s claims of Malik’s inappropriate workplace behavior matched their own experiences. They said Malik regularly made misogynistic jokes, frequently appraised what they wore, disparaged the looks of other female staffers and rated the attractiveness of women who came in for interviews.

The office also dispensed with the allegations of Malik‘s retaliation without informing the woman of its conclusions or any disciplinary action.

Malik kept his job until Politico confronted Gillibrand’s office two weeks ago with more complaints against him. These included “a ‘joke’ about rape to a female colleague – a persom whom the office had failed to contact last summer despite repeated urgings by Malik’s accuser to reach out to that person.”

After a new investigation, Gillibrand’s office fired Malik:

And the case highlights the challenges of responding to alleged sexual harassment when it hits home, even for a leader on the issue. Malik had spent years by Gillibrand’s side as her driver — the senator officiated at his wedding — while the woman was a more recent hire and had significantly less stature in the office. He was accused not of physical harassment but of making unwanted advances and using demeaning language — behavior that can be easier to downplay and can require a higher level of diligence to get to the bottom of.

Gillibrand’s advisers said they took the woman’s claims seriously, consulted with Senate employment lawyers for guidance and punished Malik at the time for what they could substantiate. But after “a full and thorough investigation into the evidence, including multiple interviews with current employees who could have witnessed this behavior, the office concluded that the allegations did not meet the standard of sexual harassment,” the office said of its initial internal investigation.

The woman said in an interview: “When I had the courage to speak up about my harasser, I was belittled by her office and treated like an inconvenience. She kept a harasser on her staff until it proved politically untenable for her to do so.”

So much for being a champion of female sexual misconduct victims. #MeToo for thee, but not for me.


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Morning Sunshine | March 11, 2019 at 11:16 am

Abbas Malik? A misogynist? ya don’t say.

Also, why is it anyone’s fault that someone else chose to drink on duty “You fed Abbas alcohol while he was on duty” – what did she do, hold him down and force the alcohol down this man’s throat?

    Geologist in reply to Morning Sunshine. | March 11, 2019 at 4:55 pm

    As a devote believer, Abbas had never consumed alcohol, and did not realize that the drink that she had offered him was alcohol. Abbas accepted her statement that the drink (Long Island Iced Tea, mixed by AOC, a skilled bartender) was just a soft drink. Abbas is therefore innocent of drinking alcohol and is not responsible for his conduct whilst under the unwitting influence of alcohol. Or some such.

    My stinking suspicion is that the two probably had a “consensual” fling, which went south!

Politico reporting?

OK, so that rules out Gillibrand as The One for 2020, else politico wouldn’t have been tipped off by whoever has already chosen The One to run this dirt against Gillibrand.*

Speculation as to who The One is?

Any takers for the M Obama theory? My theory is the Obama media machine is taking out other candidates on behalf of the The One Obama take two.

Or could it be one of the freshman Muslim women? Who seem to be receiving The-One-like praetorian guard coverage by the media these days.

* Sure, I’m glad the truth is being reported. But the truth about Dems is only reported by other Dems and their media allies to take out the competition.


    I think the MSM/DNC axis is seeking to reduce the number of female Democrat presidential candidates. A female was the Chosen One in 2016 but the deplorables got in the way. That won’t be allowed to happen ever again. Hence the efforts to winnow the field .

    The REAL Democrat Party primary in now underway, and the MSM/DNC axis wants to have the nominee anointed BEFORE a single vote is cast.

    Frank G in reply to hrh40. | March 11, 2019 at 2:13 pm

    Kamala Harris

I want to see Hillary run again. Love to see the Hillary and Obama NPC’s going after each other 🙂

Another Voice | March 11, 2019 at 12:27 pm

A thought on how this “My hypocrisy vs Your hypocrisy” will play out during the debates ? ?

So, what’s the excitement? The office investigated, and didn’t think there was all that much in it. Unless, of course, we’re all playing “believe the woman,” that pretty much ends it. The fact that the person complaining thinks that Biblical levels of destruction would be a more appropriate response hardly demonstrates that she’s justified.

Obviously I consider Gillibrand totally ridiculous and her candidacy a bad joke, but this story is a long way from demonstrating that she “supports abusers” or whatever the crime du jour is.

I have no sympathy for the woman. I have no idea if she was harassed or not, but it is 100% clear the Democrat Party is home to a large number of rapists, harassers, and violent abusers. The woman knew this, and did not care about anyone except herself. Anyone who works for a Democrat Senator is part of the problem, not the solution.

“Abbas Malik” — no doubt, at one time, he was a coveted and self-congratulatory “Diversity” hire for Gillibrand; a staffer who, unfortunately, couldn’t comport himself to modern standards of behavior, owing to his penchant for following Koranic dictates to treat women as chattel. He believed that the female members of Gillibrand’s staff were members of his harem.

Her intersectionalist tank is only 1/4th full.

Was Malik putting the meat to Hillabrand, The Awan brothers were servicing a long list of democrat women starting with Debbie Wasserman Schultz and none of them wanted them fired or even investigated or especially prosecuted.

This was an assassination by the Democrats. Politico is a Clinton whore and this was a hit job approved by Hillary.

SaguaroJack49 | March 11, 2019 at 11:35 pm

It’s taking women like this chick just too long to figure out that Gillibrand and those like her are just riding the lightning for as long as it gets them political mileage. If the hate-men thing ever wanes, Gillibrand will drop it as useless.

In a Harris vs. M.O. battle… no contest. No matter how much we talk of Hillary, she was bested by the Chicago Machine and the New Democrats. Yes, the Obama teams fingerprints are on this, but they are wiped off as each deed is done. Slick Willie isn’t the slickest.

Exactly how her buddy Hillary (or Bill or Chelsea) would have handled the situation!