BREAKING: Wu announces resignation

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

9:26 a.m. Just a few minutes ago, the AP's Ken Thomas tweeted the following:

WASHINGTON (AP) Democratic Rep. David Wu of Oregon has announced that he is resigning from Congress.

Update, 9:37 a.m. FOX12 has the full statement from Wu.

It has been the greatest privilege of my life to be a United States Congressman. Rare is the nation in which an immigrant child can become a national political figure. I thank God and my parents for the privilege of being an American.

Now, however, the time has come to hand on the privilege of high office. I cannot care for my family the way I wish while serving in Congress and fighting these very serious allegations.

The wellbeing of my children must come before anything else. With great sadness, I therefore intend to resign effective upon the resolution of the debt-ceiling crisis. This is the right decision for my family, the institution of the House, and my colleagues.

It is also the only correct decision to avoid any distraction from the important work at hand in Washington. I intend to go forward with new resolve and love of family, the State of Oregon, and our nation.

Update, 9:46 a.m. TPM's David Kurtz notes that we don't exactly know when the debt-ceiling crisis will be:

Oregon Democratic Rep. David Wu has announced his resignation amid allegations against of sexual assault, but he says the resignation won't be effective until the debt ceiling crisis is resolved. Who knows how long that might be.

Separately, TPM's Ryan Reilly has this explanation from Wu spokesman Erik Dorey:

It's something that he's been speaking closely to his constituents about and feels its his duty to see through this important crisis. He's made it clear that anything that effects Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are off the table. He wants to continue to be an advocate of that position with his colleagues.

Update, 10:27 a.m. This morning, Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden called on Wu to resign. Shortly after their statement became public, he resigned. Now, they've released a statement calling his resignation "the right choice". Read it in full here.

Update, 11:10 a.m. At this moment, "David Wu" is the hottest trending search on Google in the USA, beating out "Dallas Cowboys", "Mick Jagger", "John Boehner", "Bachelorette", etc.

Update, 11:12 a.m. Didn't catch this until now, but last night, Jay Leno ridiculed David Wu on the Tonight Show. Here's the video.

Update, 11:22 a.m. The DPO was about to release its own statement calling for Wu's resignation when he announced his decision, according to the Oregonian.

Update, 11:51 a.m. I'll keep updating the news here, but compiling reactions to Wu's resignation over here.

Update, 4:01 p.m. Lots of discussion about possible candidates. Moved all the candidate roundup over here.

Update, 11:45 p.m. KPTV tracked down an unnamed campaign staffer who dishes (not much) dirt on Wu's behavior in 2010.

Update, 11:49 p.m. The Associated Press has the tick-tock on how it went down, and the specific role played by Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley in pushing Wu to resign.


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    Here they are from TPM:

    Oregon Democratic Rep. David Wu has announced his resignation amid allegations against of sexual assault, but he says the resignation won't be effective until the debt ceiling crisis is resolved.

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    This had to happen. It'll be interesting to see which of the fine Dems is next up in this district.

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    So, how does this work in Oregon? the Governor appoint someone to the seat? If so, I would encourage him not to pick someone planning to run for the seat.

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      Kari explains the process here.

      It's special election.

      "Governor John Kitzhaber would, however, set the date of the special election on any date of his choosing.

      "If that date is more than 80 days out from the resignation, there would be a special primary and a special general election.

      "If that date is less than 80 days out from the resignation, the Democrats and Republicans would select their nominees through a convention - followed by a special general election."

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      The US Constitution actually requires special elections for house vacancies, no chance for an appointment.

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      Jeff, he needs to be out of the public eye forever!

      In fact, I hope the young woman presses charges. This is a man who admitted to attempted rape and probably raped this teenager (I am sorry, but I find it highly unlikely that an 18-year old girl would voluntarily have sex with a 55-year old man.)

      The broader question we need to be asking is how did we let him remain in office so long?

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        I won't be defending David Wu, but I think it's important to stay within the facts that are known.

        The media have continued to call this an "unwanted sexual encounter". That may or may not include rape. For example, it may be groping - which would be assault, not rape.

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          Interesting. Politico reported it differently, but I think they may have inferred more than may have been admitted to thus far.

          "Wu, though, admitted that an encounter with the girl occurred, potentially making it more difficult for his defenders to stand by him as the scandal unfolds. Wu reportedly told some of his staffers that the sex was 'consensual,' The Oregonian reported."

          Still I ask why we let this man stay in office after the news about the attempted rape in college came out in 2004?

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          What we know is the O's reporting of what two sources said they heard several months ago on a phone message. It isn't clear how investigation can go forward unless the young woman presses charges, a tough burden for her, or unless the sources go more public. Also not clear at what stage ambiguity of "unwanted sexual encounter" enters -- phone message itself? Sources to Oregonian? O editorial gloss of minimum in conflicting accounts of content of call? O editorial gloss as euphemism (remembering how long it took to get to statutory rape in the Neil Goldschmidt revelations)? Not sure we'll ever know.

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          In no case do the facts suggest Wu has earned our support or defense. If you find yourself arguing it's only assault, you've really, really lost your way.

          On the other hand, some people have suggested the Wu case illustrates the failure of the system. I think it illustrate's its success. Wu committed some foul act, the newspapers caught him (props to the Big O!), and pressure caused him to resign. That looks like success to me.

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            You speak the truth, Jeff.

            "Not indicted" is setting the bar too low for our political representatives.

            David Wu's reputation has reflected poorly on Oregon for more than a decade. With or without a sex crime indictment.

            The fact we sent a do-nothing to D.C. for 7 terms will live in the minds of many Members of Congress (and their staff) well into the future. Kari knows this as well as anybody.

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    I used to live in Rep. Wu's district and received a lot of correspondence from him. It would be a couple of pages describing opposing viewpoints around an issue with Wu's own position not articulated. Very frustrating.

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    Maybe Sam Adams will get a clue and resign too. We don't need middle age males in positions of power abusing teenagers.

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    What a surprise.

    But that didn't keep the bots from promoting the usual fraud. Time to focus on the right again, I guess. Gotta elect Dems at any cost. Screw what they actually do.

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      Whoa. T.A. do you want to retract your comments now?

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      From the party that keeps David Vitter in Congress..?

      Stones--glass houses.

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        Both parties need to do a better job of electing ethical folks to office, not narcissistic sociopaths.

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        Vitter is a hypocrite for sure. But isn't Wu's presumable transgression worse than what Vitter presumably did? Isn't an 18 year old a more vulnerable target of unchecked libido than a sex worker? Isn't violating a friend's trust (while a guest in their home for Thanksgiving) worse than breaking the law?

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        Vitter =/= Wu.

        Vitter = used escort (prostitution) services.

        Wu = "unwanted" sexual encounter (that's what we know at this point).

        What's the standard, Carla? Does sex outside of marriage automatically disqualify someone for office? Surely we don't want a standard where "sexting" disqualifies someone for office, the apparent Weiner / Lee standard.

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          Difference is Wu did not run on a platform of defending women from unwanted sexual advancement. David Vitter was a sponsor of the traditional marriage amendment. He was elected by calling for Clinton to resign for the Lewinski affair. He then went and hired prostitutes, thus breaking the law. He then maintained relationships with one or more of these prostitutes for several years.

          It's the hypocrisy that irks. Wu will lose his seat and likely face trial. Vitter is still sitting, despite having admitted to committing a crime in his home state, is still a sitting Senator, is not facing trial, and there is no call for removal.

          Yeah. The two incidents compare real well.

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    I am trying to keep to that tried and true motherly advice of "if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all" but I will say this: run John Kuzmanich, run!

    I'd be interested in what opposition research would turn up in looking into his mortgage business considering the national mess in that sphere. There have got to be at least a few liars loans that he handed out that ended up ruining peoples' financial lives. I bet those folks wouldn't have nice things to say about the would be (I can't believe I am writing this with a strait face) congressperson.

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    From Sen. Bonamici's political Facebook page:

    "Thanks to all for the encouragement. We can now focus on how to make sure that the people who live in CD 1 are effectively represented in Congress. I will have an announcement about that very soon. In the meantime, my apologies to all of those who have not been able to reach me; my voicemail keeps filling up!"

    And from Politico:

    "Democratic insiders are already pointing to two front-runners: state Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian, who has already been preparing a primary challenge for months, and state Sen. Suzanne Bonamici, who hasn’t declared her candidacy but is widely expected to run.

    "State Rep. Brad Witt is also in the race, but he doesn’t enjoy the same home base that Avakian and Bonamici do in the district’s critical battleground of Washington County."

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