Many Democrats Remain Silent on Harvey Weinstein Donations

(Updated)

Sen. Chuck Schumer and Harvey Weinstein

Sen. Chuck Schumer and Harvey Weinstein / Getty Images

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Update 1:31 p.m.: After publication of this article Sen. Chuck Schumer's spokesperson told the Washington Free Beacon he would return the Weinstein donations. "Sen. Schumer is donating all of the contributions to several charities supporting women," said Matt House.

Update 8:32 p.m.: A DNC spokesperson told the Free Beacon the DNC would donate its Weinstein contributions to EMILY's List, Emerge America, and Higher Heights.

"The allegations in the New York Times report are deeply troubling," said Xochitl Hinojosa, DNC communications director. "The Democratic party condemns all forms of sexual harassment and assault. We hope that Republicans will do the same as we mark one year since the release of a tape showing President Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women followed by more than a dozen women who came forward to detail similar experiences of assault and harassment."
"The DNC will donate over $30,000 in contributions from Weinstein to EMILY’s List, Emerge America and Higher Heights because what we need is more women in power, not men like Trump who continue to show us that they lack respect for more than half of America," Hinojosa said.

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Top Democrats who received campaign donations from Harvey Weinstein have yet to condemn his support, since the movie mogul was accused of longtime sexual harassment against women.

Several senators have said they will return donations from Weinstein, who has given roughly $600,000 to Democrats since the early 2000s. Weinstein's biggest recipients, however, have yet to denounce the movie mogul, including senators Chuck Schumer (N.Y.), Al Franken (Minn.) and the Democratic National Committee, which has received over $200,000.

The New York Times reported Thursday that Weinstein made settlements to at least eight female accusers, with allegations including assault, unwanted sexual advances, and inviting young women to come to his hotel rooms where he would stand in the nude and ask for massages.

The big-time liberal held fundraisers at his home for two-time failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and raised $679,275 as a bundler for former president Barack Obama's reelection campaign.

The Republican National Committee called on Democrats and the DNC to return what it called "dirty Harvey Weinstein cash."

"During three-decades worth of sexual harassment allegations, Harvey Weinstein lined the pockets of Democrats to the tune of three quarters of a million dollars," said RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel. "If Democrats and the DNC truly stand up for women like they say they do, then returning this dirty money should be a no brainer."

Several Democrats began distancing themselves from Weinstein once the harassment allegations emerged. Spokesmen for senators Martin Heinrich (N.M.) and Richard Blumenthal (Conn.) told the Washington Free Beacon that both would donate their $5,400 donations to nonprofit groups that fight sexual violence.

Additionally, senators Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) and Patrick Leahy (D., Vt.) told the New York Times they would transfer their donations to unspecified charities. Senator Cory Booker (D., N.J.) said hewould give the $7,800 he received from Weinstein to the New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Variety reported.

Warren's spokesperson Kristen Orthman told the Free Beacon the $5,000 donation was given to Casa Myrna, a nonprofit in Boston that provides services to domestic violence survivors.

Weinstein's biggest recipients have yet to comment on whether they will return the donations. Weinstein, who has a home in Manhattan, has given generously to senators Schumer and Gillibrand for decades.

Schumer has received the most support from Weinstein, totaling $16,200 since 1998. He has remained silent on the donations. Gillibrand has received $11,800 since 2005. She told BuzzFeed she would donate $5,000 to the National Sexual Assault Hotline.

The DNC has also not commented on whether it will disavow the contributions, which total $284,290 since 2002.

Weinstein's political contributions and accusations of sexual harassment span decades. Senator Dick Durbin (D., Ill.) has not commented on the $1,000 he has received since 1995.

Franken, who has received $10,000, and Sheldon Whitehouse (D., R.I.), who received $1,000, have also not returned requests for comment, as of Friday afternoon.

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