Report: Biden pick to lead CBP was once accused of sexual harassment

One of President Joe Biden’s latest nominees for a top government role has some serious baggage.

Fox News reported Saturday that Chris Magnus, Biden’s pick to head the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency, or CBP, was once the subject of a troubling sexual harassment claim involving a former member of his protective detail. 

The incident

Magnus currently serves as the police chief of Tucson, Arizona. Before that, however, he was the police chief in Richmond, California, and it was during his tenure there that the alleged incident occurred.

In 2015, a member of Magnus’ protective detail filed a lawsuit against both the police chief and the City of Richmond alleging sexual harassment. According to Fox, the lawsuit claimed that Magnus, “while dressed in questionable civilian attire, approached plaintiff while walking his dog, and began touching plaintiff inappropriately on his arm, and began rubbing plaintiff on his upper leg, in an obvious sexual manner.”

The individual said he rebuffed Magnus’ advances and reported the incident to his superior. But it didn’t end there.

The aftermath

Magnus’ accuser claims he was targeted for retaliation, including by being denied overtime and training and by being held back from serving in various roles for the department.

According to Fox, the individual also says Magnus used a personal incident to unjustly launch a “biased” internal affairs investigation into him, apparently looking for a reason to fire him. And that’s what ended up happening.

The individual denied the charges brought against him during the internal affairs investigation, but Magnus accused him of lying. After that, the individual was fired for lying to an investigator, as well as — according to Magnus — domestic battery, defacing property, and possessing unregistered guns.

“Entirely bogus”

As Fox notes, the lawsuit ended up being settled outside of court, which doesn’t exactly suggest that Magnus was an innocent party here.

Earlier this year, in an interview with The New York Times, Magnus called the lawsuit “entirely bogus.” He even went so far as to claim that he was targeted for being gay.

“There were still people at that time who felt I’m an easier target because I’m a gay man,” he told the Times. “That’s not the first time in my career I’ve experienced that.”

Only time will tell whether Senate Republicans bring up this incident during Magnus’ confirmation hearing. But even if they do, you can bet Democrats will do everything they can to sweep it all under the rug. It’s what they’re best at, after all.

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