Report: Garcetti may not have votes to earn India ambassadorship

Report: Garcetti may not have votes to earn India ambassadorship

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti may not have enough votes in the Senate to confirm his ambassadorship to India in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against one of his former aides, according to a new report.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer admitted to fellow Democratic senators that Garcetti likely does not have the 50 votes he needs to get confirmation, Axios reported Sunday.

Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernest have both placed so-called "holds" on the nomination, calling for an investigation into whether Garcetti ignored sexual harassment allegations against his former longtime senior advisor Rick Jacobs.

The holds could force the Biden administration to pull the nomination, according to Axios. 

Last July, the 51-year-old Garcetti was nominated by President Joe Biden to be the ambassador to India. In January, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted to move forward with Garcetti's nomination. It now sits before the full Senate, where it seems to have stalled.

Last month, the nonprofit law firm Whistleblower Aid filed a complaint on behalf of Naomi Seligman, a former spokesperson for Garcetti, with the U.S. Department of Justice, the L.A. County District Attorney's Office and the California Attorney General's Office alleging that Garcetti was in fact aware for years of the purported inappropriate behavior of his longtime senior adviser, Rick Jacobs, and ignored it and attempted to cover it up.

During an appearance before the Senate committee on Dec. 14, Garcetti defended himself against the allegations that he knew about Jabobs' behavior. 

"I want to say unequivocally that I never witnessed, nor was it brought to my attention, that behavior that has been alleged," Garcetti said. "And I also want to assure you that if it had been, I would have immediately taken action to stop that."

Jacobs served as Garcetti's deputy chief of staff from 2013 to 2016. In July of 2020, a Los Angeles police officer who had worked as part of Garcetti's security detail from 2014-19 filed a lawsuit making allegations against Jacobs, from sexually explicit comments to unwanted physical contact.

Then in October of 2020, journalist and former political fixer Yashar Ali alleged that Jacobs had harassed him at various political functions over the course of 10 years, ending in 2015.

Immediately following that revelation, Jacobs announced he was stepping down from his nonprofit work and volunteer activities with the mayor.

The whistleblower complaint, filed on Feb. 2, alleges that Garcetti committed felony perjury on Feb. 8, 2021, during his deposition as part of the lawsuit, and on Dec. 14, 2021, when he told the Senate committee under oath that he "never witnessed nor was it brought to my attention the behavior that's being alleged."

Seligman claims Jacobs sexually assaulted her in City Hall in April 2016 when he allegedly "forcefully grabbed her lower back, pinned her arms down, pressed himself against her, and held and kissed her for an extended amount of time," according to the complaint.

The document contends that Seligman notified the mayor's former chief of staff Ana Guerrero, who the complaint said "did not act surprised" and allegedly said that "no complaints would be tolerated because Mr. Jacobs was important to the mayor."

Read more

We and our partners use cookies to understand how you use our site, improve your experience and serve you personalized content and advertising. Read about how we use cookies in our cookie policy and how you can control them by clicking Manage Settings. By continuing to use this site, you accept these cookies.