Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren’s campaign has just been rocked by scandal. Following allegations of inappropriate behavior by a top staffer, an investigation ensued, and the accused individual was fired.
Perhaps Warren needs to refine the criteria her campaign uses to hire staff.
Rich McDaniel was serving as Warren’s national organizing director when several complaints about his conduct were filed. Campaign spokeswoman Kristen Orthman said, “Over the past two weeks, senior campaign leadership received multiple complaints regarding inappropriate behavior by Rich McDaniel.”
An outside counselor was brought in to investigate the matter, and it was determined McDaniel’s behavior was indeed “inconsistent with campaign values.”
Warren’s campaign has not released a statement containing specifics, but according to Politico, “A person familiar with the investigation said that there were no reports of sexual assault, but could not comment further due to confidentiality.”
However, considering the confirmed allegations of ‘inappropriate behavior’ and the fact that the outside investigator specializes in sexual harassment cases, it is very possible that the offenses were of a sexual nature.
The Warren campaign has been tightlipped on the facts surrounding McDaniel’s dismissal, and that is to be expected. It is an embarrassment to have a sexual harassment problem in any presidential campaign.
McDaniel issued a statement after he was fired. It covered all the bases and, for the most part, seemed intentionally innocuous.
He said: “I have tremendous respect for my colleagues despite any disagreements we may have had and believe departing at this time is in the best interest of both parties.”
Rich McDaniel isn’t new to this game. He previously worked for Doug Jones in Alabama, and he also worked for Hillary Clinton when she was a candidate.
Elizabeth Warren may very well have a larger problem in her campaign. Regardless of what happened with McDaniel, Warren has been quiet about the situation and will likely remain so.
Finding a replacement for McDaniel is just one issue among many that the Warren campaign will have to tackle. The senator from Massachusetts can’t seem to break decisively away from Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders in the nomination race, and being embroiled in a mysterious campaign scandal certainly won’t help matters.