McConnell campaigns back home over the April recess. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Former Sen. Bob Packwood’s sexual harassment scandal has resurfaced as a campaign issue — nearly two decades later.
Senate Minority Leader Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., recently recalled his role in the ouster of Packwood, the Oregon Republican and Finance Committee chairman who resigned in disgrace back in 1995.
McConnell, then the Ethics chairman, was tasked with leading the investigation because Republicans controlled the chamber. The inquiry had Packwood on the verge of expulsion.
“The chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, a member of my party, had a case before the Senate Ethics Committee with regard to sexual harassment. In those days 20 years ago much of this was never taken seriously by anyone,” McConnell said on April 12 at a campaign event. “I was chairman of the Ethics Committee charged with the responsibility of dealing with a member of my own party as chairman [of] the most important committee in the Senate. After investigating the case and bringing together all of the evidence I moved to expel him from the Senate. And the Senate on the verge of expelling him, he decided to resign.”