Rep. David Wu, D-Ore., announced his resignation following accusations that he engaged in an unwanted sexual encounter with a young woman.
Moments after Oregon’s two United States Senators, Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, asked the congressman to step down, Wu addressed the House and said his resignation would go into effect after the resolution of the debt-ceiling crisis.
Wu came under fire for allegedly having an “unwanted sexual encounter” with the 18-year-old daughter of a friend over last Thanksgiving. Wu insists that he did nothing illegal with the teenager. The seven-term representative said he would not be running for an eighth term after the allegations came out last week.
Merkley and Wyden released a statement four days after reports on the Wu’s accusations surfaced:
The accusations against David Wu are both jarring and exceptionally serious. … While no one takes pleasure in asking a colleague to resign, we believe he can no longer be an effective representative for our shared constituents and should, in the best interest of Oregon, step down.
On Monday, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi formally asked the House Ethics Committee to investigate the accusations against Wu.
The National Legal and Policy Center’s President, Peter Flaherty, thinks Wu should be forced to resign sooner:
Wu says he is going to resign after the debt ceiling debate. He should resign immediately, without any further delay. Either he is fit to serve in Congress or he is not, and it is pretty clear he is not. I can’t believe that Nancy Pelosi is partisan enough to have Wu hang around for one more vote.
These are not the first allegations against Wu. The congressman was scrutinized for bizarre behavior prior to the November election. The Democrat acknowledged that he sent erratic emails to his staffers, including one with a photo of himself dressed in a tiger costume. According to CBS News, Wu blamed prescription drugs for the way he acted, and sought mental health treatment.
Kristen Byrne is NLPC’s Capitol Hill Reporter