WASHINGTON — A draft legal document accusing Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of sexual harassment is a forgery, the woman purported to be his accuser told NBC News on Tuesday night.
The woman said that the allegations are false and that she has asked police to investigate.
The apparent smear, which was first reported by the political site Axios, took the form of a fake legal document alleging inappropriate behavior by Schumer toward a former staff member.
Schumer, during an unrelated news conference on Wednesday morning, said his office would pursue “every legal path” against the sender.
“It was a phony allegation, forged, false from start to finish,” said the longtime Democratic senator from New York. He did not answer a question about who he believes may have drafted the document.
The woman, a former staff member, said that the claims in the document are “completely false.”
“My signature is forged, and even basic facts about me are wrong. I have contacted law enforcement to determine who is responsible,” said the woman, who spoke on condition of anonymity because she believes she is the victim of a crime.
“I parted with Senator Schumer’s office on good terms and have nothing but the fondest memories of my time there,” she said.
Axios reported that Schumer requested a police investigation as well.
The document would appear to be part of an attempt to embarrass any news organization that reported on it as factual.
The Washington Post blew the whistle on a similar sting last month, reporting that a woman tried to peddle a false story of having been impregnated by Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore when she was a teenager.
The Post published substantial evidence that the woman was linked to the right-wing activist group Project Veritas, which secretly records and releases selectively edited videos purporting to expose questionable behavior by news organizations and liberal political and activist groups.
James O’Keefe, the founder of Project Veritas, told supporters in a fundraising letter that his “investigative journalist embedded within the publication had their cover blown.”
“This isn’t the first time that has happened, and it won’t be the last time,” he wrote.
Kasie Hunt reported from Washington. Alex Johnson reported from Los Angeles.