House Speaker

New Jersey Rep. Gottheimer Says Resignation Letter Sent Out to Elected Officials and Media Was a Hoax

What to Know

  • New Jersey Rep. Josh Gottheimer says someone sent out fake letters saying he was resigning over a sex scandal; he says that was a hoax
  • The letters appeared to have an official congressional letterhead and a signature that didn't match previous letters from his office
  • In one letter dated July 29, the note said the Democratic congressman had a sexual relationship with a staffer and that he was resigning

New Jersey Rep. Josh Gottheimer says he's outraged over what he called a "disgusting smear campaign" in which he says someone sent out a fake letter saying he was resigning over a sex scandal.

The fraudulent letters appeared to have an official congressional letterhead and included a signature that didn't match previous letters Gottheimer's office had sent in the past, the North Jersey Record first reported Monday.

"Over the last week, fraudulent letters appearing to be written by me and a member of my staff were mailed to elected officials and media outlets. This disgusting smear campaign is a violation of federal law," Gottheimer said in a statement to News 4. 

In one letter dated July 29, the note said the Democratic congressman had a sexual relationship with a staffer and that he was resigning.

Gottheimer said the incident is being investigated by the U.S. Capitol Police.

"I am confident that they will quickly identify and pursue charges against the perpetrators responsible for this crime. At the same time, I am outraged that a dedicated member of my staff has been dragged into this cowardly attack on me," he said.

The letters aren't the congressman's only problem this week.

A former volunteer for Gottheimer's campaign, Arati Kreibich, announced Monday that she's running against him, after he and other centrist Democrats rebelled and prevented House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from holding a vote to add care requirements for migrant children to the $4.6 billion border bill package, enraging progressives.

"My name is Arati. I'm running against Josh Gottheimer because we can't be afraid of big solutions to big problems. We need someone who represents the people of #NJ5 – not just big donors," she said in a tweet.

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