POLITICS

Top Schumer Aide Was Pushed Out After Inappropriate Sexual Encounters With Staff

The sudden departure of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's communications director followed reports of sexual misconduct.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), left, listens to his communications director, Matt House, before speaking to m
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), left, listens to his communications director, Matt House, before speaking to members of the media on Capitol Hill on July 11, 2017. House was forced out of his job in Schumer's office after allegations of sexual misconduct.

When Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s longtime communications director Matt House announced he was leaving just after November’s midterm elections, the news was met with widespread bipartisan praise for House and his reputation for fairness. But some of House’s Senate colleagues were surprised to learn of his departure, given that he did not have a high-profile job lined up and that Democrats could regain control of the Senate in 2020.

House’s departure, however, was not voluntary. HuffPost has learned, through two sources with knowledge of the situation, that House was pushed out for allegedly having inappropriate sexual encounters with junior staffers, ending what was a nearly six-year tenure as communications director for the New York Democrat. The sources spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak to a reporter about the allegations.

In a text-message statement late Friday, a spokesman for Schumer confirmed that House was forced out after the encounters were alleged:

Upon learning that he had inappropriate encounters within the office and that it was making some staff uncomfortable, he was asked to leave.

House said late Friday via text-message: 

I absolutely loved my time working in the Senate and it was the honor of my life. I deeply regret the mistakes I made on the number of occasions when I had too much to drink, and I apologize to anyone who was affected by my behavior. I have always respected all of my colleagues and I was horrified to learn that I made anyone feel uncomfortable. In the past three months, I’ve stopped drinking and I’ve committed to making myself a better colleague and person.

A source familiar with the matter, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity, said that no formal legal complaints were filed against House through Schumer’s Senate office. 

According to his LinkedIn page, House served as Schumer’s communications director from June 2013 through November 2018. Prior to that, he served in a series of communications-related roles, including in Sen. Joe Biden’s Democratic 2008 presidential campaign and in former New Hampshire Rep. Paul Hodes’ congressional office and as part of his failed campaign for U.S. Senate. 

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