FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 8, 2023
Radim Dragomaca, [email protected]
Whistleblower Aid Responds to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Failure to Consider Credible Allegations From Whistleblowers Against Eric Garcetti
Whistleblower Aid urges full Senate to reject Garcetti and confirm a nominee with a clear record on protecting victims of sexual harassment and abuse
Washington, D.C., March 8, 2023 – The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 13:8 in support of advancing the nomination of former L.A. mayor Eric Garcetti as U.S. Ambassador to India. The vote comes after more than 600 days of delays and shortly after Senator Rubio placed a hold on the nomination, complicating Garcetti’s path to a floor vote by the full Senate. Rubio cited Garcetti “ignor[ing] credible sexual assault accusations in his prior office,” echoing concerns expressed by senators on both sides of the aisle. The Ranking Member, Sen Risch, who previously supported Garcetti, opposed the nomination today, saying “We must ensure that any chief of mission will, without question, protect our foreign service officers and embassy staff from all types of harassment.”
Naomi Seligman, Garcetti’s former communications director and whistleblower who testified to sexual abuse at L.A. City Hall and was herself a victim, issued the following statement:
“Today’s vote, on International Women’s Day no less, shows a real disconnect between the rhetoric we hear from elected leaders who claim to support victims of workplace sexual harassment and the pass they give to party loyalists in the next breath. It’s disheartening to say the least.
“It was already clear from the time of his nomination that Garcetti was unfit to represent our country, and each passing month reveals new embarrassments to the President and the Senate – from prior perjury before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, strongarming senators to support his nomination, more witnesses and victims of sexual harassment, and multiple members of the Garcetti administration facing corruption charges and serving prison sentences.
“Today’s vote only prolongs what has already been a historically long vacancy at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, as senators of both parties have deep misgivings about the qualifications, actions and inaction of this nominee. After more than 600 days, the U.S.-India bilateral relationship cannot continue to be held hostage by the political ambitions of one man.”
Whistleblower Aid is a non-profit legal organization in Washington, D.C. supporting individuals who lawfully report government and corporate law breaking. It provides assistance to individuals in the United States and abroad seeking to disclose illegal conduct, including misconduct relating to government officials, securities fraud, sexual violence, and violations of tax, labor or environmental laws. In recent years Whistleblower Aid lawyers have represented Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen and the Ukraine whistleblower whose disclosures led to the first impeachment of President Trump.