Washington D.C. – Cause of Action Institute (“CoA Institute”) has filed a Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) request with the U.S. Department of the Treasury as part of an investigation into the secret payment of millions in taxpayer dollars to settle cases of sexual harassment and other forms of invidious discrimination by members of Congress and their staff over the last two decades.

CoA Institute President John J. Vecchione: “Powerful testimony, admissions by the Office of Compliance, and numerous brave women speaking out have brought to light sexual harassment and discrimination in Congress. Unfortunately, many questions remain concerning how and under what authority these settlement payments have been made. If taxpayers are footing the bill to settle complaints of misconduct, the American public should know about it.”

CoA Institute’s FOIA request seeks all records and communications relating to taxpayer funds used to settle complaints of misconduct against members of Congress and their staffs. It requests all records, including financial records, relating to settlement payments made over the past 20 years for any allegation of misconduct, including sexual harassment, racial and religious discrimination, and discrimination against people with disabilities.

The existence of settlement payments has been publicly confirmed by the congressional Office of Compliance, which stated that the funds for the payments comes from an account operated by the Treasury Department.

For information regarding this press release, please contact Zachary Kurz, Director of Communications at CoA Institute: zachary.kurz@causeofaction.org