Tony Cárdenas Launches Legal Fund to Fight Sexual Abuse Allegations
Congressman Tony Cárdenas (D-CA) has created a legal defense fund to help cover legal costs from a lawsuit alleging that he molested a teenage girl in 2007 -- which the Congressman denies. Cárdenas will be able to receive donations of up to $5,000 per year to offset legal costs. Cárdenas’ accuser, who’s now in her 20s, said he invited her to a golf outing (she was a rising young golf star at the time) and after receiving a drink of water from Cárdenas that "tasted distinctly different from both tap and filtered water,” the then-teenage girl collapsed. Cárdenas took her to the hospital, but during the trip, she alleges he reached under her clothes and fondled her breasts and genitals. Cárdenas’ legal team said the woman who filed the suit is the daughter of a "disgruntled former employee" and "may be the victim of manipulation." Former LA City Councilman Richard Alarcón told the LA Times that he had a meeting in 2016 with a former Cárdenas employee -- who he now believes is the accuser's father -- after the Councilman announced a run against Cárdenas in Congress. During the meeting, Alarcón alleges that the man said he had negative information on Cárdenas but would only provide it to the media in exchange for a job on Alarcón's campaign. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has called on the Ethics Committee to investigate Cárdenas. However, it is unclear whether the panel will do so. More here.