- (Reuters/Donna W. Carson)
On the eve of the latest GOP debate round Wednesday night, a lawyer for one of Herman Cain’s accusers is trying to organize a joint press conference for Thursday on Cain’s alleged sexual improprieties.
Presidential candidate and businessman Cain is trying to get back on message after a week of intense scrutiny regarding the allegations, continuing to argue that the accusations are completely false and that the issues surrounding various settlements and a severance pay agreement during his tenure as the head of the National Restaurant Association in the late 1990s are wildly overblown.
Joel Bennett, the lawyer representing one of Cain’s accusers, Karen Kraushaar, told reporters in Washington, D.C. today that his client wants to hold a press conference with the other alleged victims. A total of five alleged victims could appear together at the press conference.
"My client and I believe that it would be helpful to the public in judging this matter to see as many as the women as possible together,” said Bennett, according to Fox News. Cain has insisted he only knew of one complaint, and says he knew of no legal settlements--only what he calls a severance agreement with one woman.
"We think it would be helpful to the public in judging whether Mr. Cain's denials have been truthful or not,” Bennett argued.
New revelations regarding Cain’s accusers likely would overshadow even a brilliant debate performance. However, Kraushaar’s history as a complainer may be eroding her credibility.
The Associated Press has reported that after she left her job at the National Restaurant Association, where Cain allegedly harassed her, she complained three years later at her next job about unfair treatment. She wanted to work from home following a serious car accident and was denied. The complaint was made while she worked at the Immigration and Naturalization Service in the Justice Department. It did not include a complaint of sexual harassment, but she did accuse her manager of circulating a sexual email.
For the settlement, according to the Associated Press, Kraushaar demanded “thousands of dollars in payment, a reinstatement of leave she used after the accident earlier in 2002, promotion on the federal pay scale and a one-year fellowship to Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, according to a former supervisor familiar with the complaint.”
She has said she does not remember making those demands.
Kraushaar told the Associated Press that she eventually dropped the complaint because she considered it a “relatively minor” issue.
Insights into Kraushaar’s previous workplace complaints may help reveal how she solves problems at work; which, if she has a history of being a complainer, could be advantageous to Cain.
Sharon Bialek, the first of Cain’s accusers to publicly step forward with details, held a press conference on Monday telling the reporters shocking details of her alleged sexual interaction with Cain. She was joined by her representative Gloria Allred.
However, since Monday Bialek’s credibility has been called into question as well. Many wonder if her financial situation – she filed for bankruptcy in 1991 and 2001 – has anything to do with her decision to come forward with the allegations now, 14 years after the incident.
Bennett told Fox that he hopes to get confirmation regarding a joint press conference by Thursday.
Cain denies all allegations, telling reporters on Tuesday that, “I have never acted inappropriately with anyone, period," according to Fox News.
Currently, five women have stepped forward accusing Cain of sexual harassment in the 1990s during his tenure as CEO of the National Restaurant Association.