Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., speaks to reporters on...

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017. Credit: AP / J. Scott Applewhite

WASHINGTON – Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Tuesday turned over to U.S. Capitol Police a forged document alleging a former staffer sued him for sexual harassment five years ago, an accusation Schumer and the staffer denied, spokesman Matt House said.

A password-protected PDF of a 13-page document dated 2012 with the file name “Schumer_Complaint” looks like a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and was shopped around to news outlets, House said.

“The document is a forged document and every allegation is false. We have turned it over to the Capitol Police and asked them to investigate and pursue criminal charges because it is clear the law has been broken,” House said in a statement.

“We believe the individual responsible for forging the document should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law to prevent other malicious actors from doing the same,” House said.

The allegation, and Schumer’s denial and referral of the document to U.S. Capitol Police, were first published by the news website Axios.

House said Schumer has never been sued for sexual harassment. A check with court records for the federal court where the lawsuit allegedly was filed turned up no record of such a lawsuit against Schumer – though a sensitive lawsuit could be sealed.

The former staff member, who worked for Schumer from 2009 to 2012, said in a phone call arranged by Schumer’s office that she had never accused Schumer of sexual harassment, and confirmed her statement. She asked not to be named.

“The claims in this document are completely false, my signature is forged, and even basic facts about me are wrong. I have contacted law enforcement to determine who is responsible. I parted with Senator Schumer’s office on good terms and have nothing but the fondest memories of my time there,” her statement said.

Schumer went public with the document on the day that Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) accused President Donald Trump of a “sexist smear” for tweeting she had begged and would do anything for a political contribution from him. Trump posted the tweet Tuesday after Gillibrand on Monday called for him to resign amid several sexual misconduct accusations against him.

Last week, two prominent Democrats, Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota and Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, resigned amid charges of sexual misconduct and the urgings of their colleagues in their own party.

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