Screengrab from https://youtu.be/EC86dZBSKvk<,/p>
Last Tuedsay, Florida Congressman and noxious twit Ted Deutch used a House hearing on “family separations” to accuse the Trump administration of permitting widespread sexual abuse of “unaccompanied” minors. He starts out accusing HHS staff of sexual assaults at the rate of one per week and then goes full metal stupid and claims that there were “thousands” of cases buried in documents provided.
This is the key part, via Politico:
“This works out, on average, to one sexual assault by HHS staff on an unaccompanied minor per week,” Deutch claimed Tuesday. The Florida Democrat further suggested that HHS deliberately placed migrant children in environments where they knew they’d be abused by agency staff.
The children were placed in shelters that were overseen by HHS contractors, not agency staff — a point that Deutch acknowledged after a witness disputed him, but that Deutch said did not change the thrust of his claim.
“That statement is false,” Jonathan White, a career civil servant, shot back at Deutch. “You are speaking of allegations of sexual abuse against members of my team.”
“I saw thousands of cases of sexual abuse, if not by HHS staff, then by the people that HHS staff oversees,” Deutch countered, referencing data that HHS shared with his office. “I will make that clarification, it doesn’t make what happened any less horrific.”
HHS received 4,556 allegations of sexual abuse over the most recent four-year period, and the agency said the “significant majority” were for “inappropriate sexual behaviors,” like verbal harassment, between children in custody. HHS has said that there were 178 allegations of serious sexual abuse by adult contractors over that period, which involved roughly 0.1 percent of all children placed in HHS custody over that period.
Read this carefully. Deutch is blaming HHS for allegations on “verbal harassment” between “unaccompanied minors.” In fact, if you watch the video, start around 0:10, you can see Deutch holding back a smile as he falsely accuses a federal agency of complicity in child sexual assault.
Anyway, when Deutch wanted to set up a meeting with HHS to further slander and defame them, the agency provided an lengthy rebuttal to Deutch’s ugly little fantasy and then declined to meet. This is how the end the letter:
Deutch, who is used to insulting people and not being held to account, was incensed.
“Our job is to conduct oversight,” Deutch told POLITICO. “I’ve never seen a response like this, that simply refuses to come talk to members of Congress … I think they’d be interested in discussing [this] because people are outraged.”
His job may be to conduct “oversight,” but HHS is under no moral, legal or ethical obligation to stand idly by and have a member of Congress read lies into the Congressional Record and refuse to correct them even when called on it in the hearing. He can hold hearings. He can issue subpoenas. But he has zero authority to make executive branch employees meet with him. Deutch made a conscious effort to lie about the program he was allegedly conducting oversight of. He made a decision to accuse innocent people of sexually assaulting children. He made a conscious decision to misrepresent data provided him by HHS. He did all of that for cheap, transitory political advantage. And now he wants the people on the receiving end of his calumny to meekly sit down with him and pretend as though nothing happened. Much to the credit of Mr. Haynes, he decided to not let it pass.
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