Joel Bennett, the lawyer for one of the former employees of the National Restaurant Association who accused Herman Cain of sexual harassment, spoke to Wolf Blitzer live on CNN moments ago.
Bennett said that in his legal opinion, what occurred between Cain and his client met the legal definition of sexual harassment. But despite repeated questions from Blitzer, he refused to specify what the alleged actions were, and he said his client would not be appearing to shed any further light on the matter.
When Blitzer pointed out Cain’s vehement, blanket denial, Bennett replied, “In all my years of lawyering, I’ve never seen anyone accused of sexual harassment say, ‘I did it.’”
In short, Mr. Bennett is arguing, ’I won’t say what he did, but trust me, he’s guilty of wrongdoing.’ This is ridiculous. To Politico, the public is supposed to take this into account in their assessment of Cain but we can’t even get any sense of what triggered the original complaint, and whether this was much ado about nothing or whether Cain actually did something wrong.
Without the basic details, the public cannot take this into account in their assessment of Cain, or ought not to. Despite all the drama of the week, we know about as much as we did Monday. Two employees made complaints, but we don’t really know much about what the complaints were. Was there some bad behavior on Cain’s part? Were the NRA payments just designed to avoid the cost of litigating the claims? Who knows?
“It’s over, from our perspective,” Bennett said of the controversy.
Yes, this story ought to be over. While this story does not reassure much about Herman Cain and his campaign – i.e., blaming Perry, walking back the accusation, then having Cain seem to walk back the walk back – he’s been wronged by having a politically damaging accusation widely aired but never being able to cross-examine his accuser or refute the charges.