GOP congressman says he didn't harass a young female staffer but thought they were 'soul mates'

  • Republican Rep. Patrick Meehan of Pennsylvania reportedly settled a sexual harassment complaint from a decades-younger female aide last year.
  • The aide alleged that Meehan grew hostile after she became involved with another man.
  • Meehan, who is married, denied he was romantically involved with the aide, and said he viewed her as a "soul mate."

Republican Rep. Patrick Meehan of Pennsylvania, who used taxpayer funds to settle a sexual harassment complaint filed by a decades-younger female aide, denied the allegation published in a bombshell New York Times report, but said he viewed the aide as "a soul mate" and "complete partner," according to The Inquirer.

A glimpse of Meehan and the aide's alleged interaction was gleaned from a letter the married 62-year-old Congressman allegedly wrote in May, in which he thanked the aide for her companionship.

"As you bask in this moment of extreme joy, I want to share with you my sentiment of how richly it is deserved," Meehan wrote in the letter. "You are kind and sensitive and caring and infectious with your laugh. You are and have been a complete partner to me and you have brought me much happiness."

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UNITED STATES - JUNE 21: Rep. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., leaves a meeting of the House Republican Conference in the Capitol on June 21, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 09: Rep. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., attends a House Ways and Means Committee markup of the Republican's tax reform plan titled the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, in Longworth Building on November 9, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 14: Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) (L) and Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-PA), speak to the media about todays shooting at the Congressional baseball practice, on June 14, 2017 in Washington, DC. This morning House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) and others were shot by a gunman during Congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 02: (L-R) U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL) and U.S. Rep. Pat Meehan (R-PA) speak during a panel discussion titled From the Ice to the Classroom: Hockey's Many Lessons for Our Students during the 2016 Congressional Hockey Caucus Briefing Day on the Hill at the Capitol Visitor's Center on March 2, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 02: (L to R) Rep. Pat Meehan (R-PA) listens as Vice Chairman of MSE and Washington Capitals President Dick Patrick speaks during a panel discussion for the 2017 Congressional Hockey Caucus Briefing Day on the Hill in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill on March 2, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 10: Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell greets Rep. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., before a House Ways and Means Committee hearing in Longworth on the HHS Fiscal Year 2017 budget request, February 10, 2016. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - JUNE 23: Rep. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., celebrates after the Republicans' 8-7 victory in the 55th Congressional Baseball Game in Nationals Park, June 23, 2016. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 13: U.S. Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-PA) wears his 'Hockey Fights Cancer' commemorative tie during the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on October 13, 2011 at the Rayburn Building in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/NHLI via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 29: U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-OH) (L) and Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-PA) (R) pretend to twist the arms of Rep. Frank Guinta (R-NH) while heading to a House GOP caucus meeting July 29, 2011 in Washington, DC. Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) failed to bring debt limit legislation to the floor of the House Thursday night after he was unable to muster enough Republican votes. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JUNE 15: Rep. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., poses during the Republicans' baseball practice at Four Mile Run Park in Alexandria, Va., on Wednesday morning, June 15, 2011. The Republicans will face off against the Democrats in the 50th Annual Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Stadium in Washington on July 14, 2011. (Photo By Bill Clark/Roll Call)
WASHINGTON, DC - June 01: Chairman Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., and ranking member Jackie Speier, D-Calif., during the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence hearing on the 'Department of Homeland Security Intelligence Enterprise - Past, Present, and Future.' (Photo by Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - May 03: Full committee Chairman Peter T. King, R-N.Y., and subcommittee Chairman Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., during the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence hearing on 'The Threat to the U.S. Homeland Emanating from Pakistan.' (Photo by Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JUNE 29: F.B.I. Special Agent-in-Charge Jeffrey Lampinski, right, holding a copy of today's announced indictment, and United States Attorney Patrick L. Meehan, left, address the media in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Tuesday, June 29, 2004. Philadelphia's former Treasurer Corey Kemp and two former JPMorgan Chase & Co. bankers were among 12 people indicted on federal fraud charges after an investigation into whether city bond business was steered to political supporters. (Photo by Mike Mergen/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JUNE 29: United States Attorney Patrick L. Meehan, right, addresses the media along with F.B.I. Special Agent-in-Charge Jeffrey Lampinski, left, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Tuesday, June 29, 2004. Philadelphia's former Treasurer Corey Kemp and two former JPMorgan Chase & Co. bankers were among 12 people indicted on federal fraud charges after an investigation into whether city bond business was steered to political supporters. (Photo by Mike Mergen/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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"As I walked this evening and glanced over at the White House I smiled at the irony that on a day I had to say 'no' to the President and to the Speaker of the House, I got to say 'yes' to you," the letter read.

The letter continued: "Thank you for all that you have done for me, and for all you continue to do. I thank God for putting you into my life and for all that we have seen, and experienced and genuinely shared together."

The aide, who reportedly worked with Meehan for seven years, texted him the day after the letter was dated, thanking him "for your very kind words and for your friendship," according to messages his office shared to the Associated Press.

The aide's complaint alleged that after she became involved in a serious relationship with another man, Meehan became hostile enough that she decided to work from home, and then ultimately quit, according to The Times.

Meehan admitted that he may have acted selfishly towards the aide: "I started to talk to her about my reaction to (her new relationship) and you know, selfishly I was thinking about what this was going to mean to me," Meehan said in The Inquirer, "that she was leaving and that this was going to change the dynamic which was very special in my office and also somebody that I was emotionally close to by virtue of the time that we spent together in seven years."

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Politicians, lawmakers accused of sexual harassment, assault and misconduct
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Politicians, lawmakers accused of sexual harassment, assault and misconduct

Several women have come forward accusing President Donald Trump of unwanted touching or kissing. Trump has called the sexual harassment claims 'fake news.'

(REUTERS/Yuri Gripas)

U.S. Supreme Court nominee judge Brett Kavanaugh was accused by numerous women of sexual assault, including Dr. Christine Blasey Ford who claimed he assaulted her when the two were high school students in Maryland.

(REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

Bill Clinton faced numerous allegations of sexual assault and misconduct while he was president of the United States, with accusers including Juanita Broaddrick, who accused him of rape, Kathleen Willey who said he groped her and Paula Jones who said he exposed himself to her without consent.

(Photo by Dirck Halstead/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)

(Photo by Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

Roy Moore faced multiple allegations of sexual misconduct with underaged girls.

(Carlo Allegri / Reuters)

Several women have accused former President George H.W. Bush of groping them during photo ops.

(REUTERS/Donna Carson)

Sen. Al Franken resigned after he was accused of kissing and groping a woman without her consent during a United Service Organizations (USO) tour in 2006.

(Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

A woman testified that her extra-martial affair with Missouri Governor Eric Greitens was not always consensual. The accuser claimed Greitens took a nude photo of her to use as blackmail and coerced her into having oral sex.

(St. Louis Metropolitan Police Dept./Handout via REUTERS)

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman was accused in May 2018 of physically abusing four women who he had been romantically involved with, according to The New Yorker.

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

A former aide of Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., says she was fired after she refused his advances.

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Trent Franks, R-Arizona, resigned after he was accused of asking former female staffers to be surrogate mothers for his child. 

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Ruben Kihuen, D-Nev., was accused of making unwanted sexual advances to multiple women.

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, was accused of using taxpayer money for a sexual harassment settlement with his former communications director, according to Politico. He announced in December that he wouldn't be seeking reelection. 

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) has been accused of unwanted sexual advances by former staffers.

(SAUL LOEB via Getty Images)

California Assemblymember Matt Dababneh was accused of masturbating in front of a woman in 2016, according to the Los Angeles Times.

(Photo by JC Olivera/Getty Images)

In 1992 multiple women came forward against Senator Brock Adams accusing him of sexually harassing, molesting or assaulting them.

(Photo by Gary Payne/Liaison)

The Congressional Office of Compliance reportedly shelled out $100,000 to settle sexual harassment claims against U.S. Rep. Eric Massa, D-New York.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Congressman Mark Foley, R-Florida, resigned in 2006 amid reports that he sent sexually explicit messages to at least one underage male former page. 

(Photo by Theo Wargo/WireImage)

Rep. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., called a young former aide his 'soul mate,' but denied sexually harassing her.

(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Dan Johnson, R-Kentucky, was facing sexual assault accusations and reportedly committed suicide.

(Kentucky Legislative Research Commission via REUTERS)

Former U.S. Congressman Anthony Weiner was sentenced in 2017 after pleading guilty to one count of sending obscene messages to a minor, ending an investigation into a "sexting" scandal that played a role in the 2016 US presidential election.

(REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)

Former U.S. Rep. David Wu, D-Oregon, resigned from his position in 2011 after accusations of an 'unwanted sexual encounter' from the 18-year-old daughter of a donor.

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Former Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain dropped out of the race in December 2011 amid accusations of sexual misconduct.

(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Former U.S. Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert was sentenced to 15 months in prison in 2016 for attempting to skirt banking regulations in order to conceal hush money payments intended to cover up sex abuse allegations stemming from the time he was a high school wrestling coach at a far west suburban Chicago high school decades ago.

(REUTERS/Frank Polich)

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Although Meehan admitted to acting selfishly, he told The Inquirer that he did not pursue a romantic relationship with the aide. "I was not interested in a relationship, particularly not any sexual relationship, but we were soul mates." He said he viewed the idea of a soul mate as someone with whom a person goes through "remarkable experiences together."

News of the aide's allegation and undisclosed settlement follows previous sexual misconduct allegations stemming from Capitol Hill in recent months. The process in which the allegations were settled has been a subject of debate, after reports shed light on lawmakers using taxpayer funds for their settlements.

Meehan reportedly said he planned on running for reelection, according to The Inquirer.

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