Harvey Weinstein, the Hollywood movie producer accused of sexual misconduct, donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Democrats over the years, including to some 2020 presidential contenders. Now they’re scrambling to give it all back.
Many top Democrats have sought to distance themselves from Weinstein in recent days, after a New York Times investigation found he had paid settlements to at least eight women who accused him of sexual harassment. Weinstein, who has been a major fundraiser for Democrats for decades, apologized for his past behavior.
The Democratic National Committee said in a statement that it would donate more than $30,000 to various causes, including Emily’s List, a political-action committee funding Democratic women candidates who support abortion rights. Some Democrats noted privately that sum represented a fraction of the nearly $500,000 that federal campaign finance records show Weinstein has given to Democratic Party organizations.
Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Al Franken of Minnesota, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, all viewed as possible candidates to lead the ticket in 2020, have said they would donate the value of Weinstein’s contributions to charities. On CNN on Sunday, Sen. Chris Murphy (D., Conn.) suggested that all of Weinstein’s contributions over the years should be returned by Democratic organizations or donated to charity.
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