On Thursday, news broke that Texas Democratic Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee was named in a lawsuit accusing her of firing a female staffer in retaliation for their plan to sue the Congressional Black Caucus for an alleged rape she was a victim of. While the news was slow to circulate, it broke in the afternoon and thus gave the broadcast networks plenty of time to get a report together. But neither ABC, CBS, nor NBC decided to cover it that evening.
While leading into a report about the lawsuit, Fox News host Tucker Carlson claimed it was a “pretty amazing story that’s not getting enough attention tonight.”
“This former employee claims that she was raped by a former Congressional Black Caucus Foundation employee and was fired by Jackson Lee’s office after the employee planned to sue,” Fox News reporter David Spunt added before detailing what the lawsuit alleged happened (click “expand” to read):
The former Jackson Lee staffer, named Jane Doe in a lawsuit filed just last Friday, says a former intern coordinator for the caucus foundation named a man named Damian Jones. She is saying he raped her in 2015. Jane Doe says that Jones was her supervisor at the time. Doe reported the alleged rape to authorities but the investigation was inconclusive when it came to evidence. Well, when she went to tell authorities, fast forward to 2017, Jane Doe took a job with Congresswoman Jackson Lee out of Texas, who became chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.
Jane Doe found out that Damion Jones was also going to be working with her again and she reported to authorities that she had a prior situation with him. Now, Jane doe says that she repeatedly reached out to Congresswoman Jackson Lee who would not meet her.
Spunt told viewers that Fox News had reached out to Jones for comment but had not received a reply.
“The woman claims he got her blackout drunk and invited her to his apartment, where he and possibly his roommate sexually assaulted her,” reported The Huffington Post in more detail. “She reported the alleged assault to D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department and had a rape kit exam performed…”
And according to a FoxNews.com report, the Jane Doe alleges that she was lied to about the motivation for her firing. While she was told she was being fired “because of budgetary issues” and she was the latest hire, “Doe claimed Jackson Lee had hired at least two new employees who made ‘at least the same salary’ as her since her arrival in November 2017. She also claimed two more employees were hired shortly after she was fired while another staffer received a raise.”
In a statement to Fox News, as reported by Spunt, Jackson Lee’s office insisted:
The office adamantly denies the allegations that it retaliated against, or otherwise improperly treated the plaintiff. It is against office policy to discuss specific details about internal personnel matters. Congresswoman Jackson Lee has an outstanding record of supporting civil rights and non-discrimination both in legislation and in her own office.