Following the launch of an investigation into Rob Porter and the White House’s controversial response, Jack Burkman, a D.C.-based lawyer and GOP lobbyist, says now is a critical time to turn attention to Washington and for the nation to look at victim support in the midst of the #MeToo movement.
Porter, the former White House Staff Secretary, resigned last week after two ex-wives came forward with evidence of abuse.
Burkman is troubled by the implications of a known offender in the White and the nation’s mixed response to Holderness coming forward. He believes this case shows a clear need for better support of accusers and the true scope of the issue in the nation’s capital.
Burkman previously lent support to #MeTooCongress, which highlighted the issue on Capitol Hill.
“This case has been a long time coming,” said Burkman. “We’ve watched as increasingly larger industries face the monster in the closet, and now it’s in the White House. It’s proof of how widespread the issue is and how badly we need to support those who come forward. It’s time to do whatever we can to root out this sickness once and for all.”
The White House was once again embroiled in scandal last week after The Daily Mail published a piece detailing Porter’s rise through the White House despite warnings from its own staff and members of the FBI. The story not only brought forward police reports, protective orders and divorce papers, but the first women to come forward against a member of the White House staff, Colbie Holderness and Jennie Willoughby.
Shortly after publication and widespread coverage the White House once again found itself with alternating stories and a timeline that is at odds with the FBI.
These allegations bring many new elements to the #MeToo movement, but the difficulty and blowback suffered by those coming forward remain the same.
“The White House has historically reflected who we are as a nation. If an abuser can not only be welcomed but defended within it, we need to take a hard look at ourselves and how we react to those coming forward,” said Burkman. “These women need our support. I have done what I can and will continue to pursue new measures, but we must come together. Accessibility and support for victims to come forward is crucial to solving the issue.”
Jack Burkman became one of many voices within the #MeToo movement while representing M. Reese Everson as she accused Rep. Bobby Scott of sexual assault during her time as a congressional staffer. His exposure to victims living in fear of coming forward drove him to create metoocongress.com, highlighting the reality of inappropriate behavior on Capitol Hill and offering support to those who come forward.
SOURCE: Jack Burkman
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