The House intelligence committee is investigating whether the Central Intelligence Agency is mishandling how it responds to sexual assault and harassment in its workforce, according to four people familiar with the matter.
At least three female CIA employees have approached the committee since January to tell them that the agency is discouraging women from making sexual misconduct complaints, according to one of the people, attorney Kevin Carroll, who represents the first employee who talked to the committee. He also said the CIA is making it difficult for alleged victims to speak to law enforcement.
The allegations led committee chair Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio) and ranking member Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.) to send a letter last week to CIA director Bill Burns to ask for the agency’s help looking into the issues, according to another of the four people, who was granted anonymity to discuss the private letter. Burns responded within 24 hours and pledged full cooperation, according to a senior CIA official.
Carroll said his client has told him that as many as 54 women at the CIA over the past decade have said they were been victims of sexual assault or misconduct by colleagues, and that their cases were improperly handled. POLITICO could not independently verify that assertion.
“This is the CIA’s Me Too moment,” said Carroll, who is a partner at the firm Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP and is representing the victim pro bono.