Democratic Rep. Marie Newman Allegedly Offered Her Opponent A Bribe To Drop Out, Suit Says

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Ashley Carnahan Contributor
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A lawsuit alleges Democratic Rep. Marie Newman from Illinois bribed her primary opponent not to run against her, according to a report published Wednesday by Roll Call.

Newman allegedly offered her primary opponent, Iymen Chehade, a six-figure job in her congressional office if she won the seat in Illinois’ 3rd district, the lawsuit states, according to Roll Call’s report.

The lawsuit filed by Chehade alleges the congresswoman reportedly signed an employment contract in December 2018 stating that Chehade would be hired as a foreign policy adviser or district director, and would be paid a salary of “no less than between $135,000 and $140,000 per year.”

The Illinois representative informed Chehade that she would not fulfill her contract, according to the lawsuit. Newman’s lawyer, Douglas Letter from the House’s Office of General Counsel, said the agreement was signed by Congresswoman Newman in her “personal capacity.”

“Although the agreement was signed by Congresswoman Newman in her personal capacity (because she had no official capacity in which to act before her election), it purports to bind her in her official capacity to hire Mr. Chehade in her Congressional office,” Letter said, according to Roll Call.

Pat Mullane, a Newman campaign spokesman, pushed back against the defendant’s claims, telling Roll Call the lawsuit was a “desperate grab for money.”

“Mr. Chehade’s latest claims are not only completely fictitious but frankly ludicrous, and they represent nothing more than a desperate grab for money.” (RELATED: Ocasio-Cortez Endorses Challenger To Moderate Illinois Democrat)

Mullane added that Chehade was not hired because he “misrepresented his qualifications” and was “ill-suited for a senior role in a congressional office.”

“He [Chehade] has filed a frivolous lawsuit and made multiple false statements in an attempt to seek money from the campaign,” Mullane concluded.

Editor’s note: This piece was updated to reflect the opponent is not a Republican.