Report: Kamala Harris failed to pursue church sex abuse cases as San Francisco DA

Former Vice President Joe Biden’s decision to choose Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) as his running mate has left some progressives in his party feeling uncomfortable. Among their complaints is her history of initiating prosecutions on the basis of of flimsy evidence and then opposing compensation for those she wrongly accused.

Yet it seems that Harris’ failings as a prosecutor go beyond locking up the innocent, as a new report from Breitbart suggests that she also declined to take action against sexual predators while taking donations from the law firms that defended them.   

Harris under the microscope

Those allegations were notably leveled by Breitbart News senior contributor Peter Schweizer in a book released earlier this year entitled Profiles in Corruption: Abuse of Power by America’s Progressive Elite.

Not only did Harris refuse to prosecute a single priest during her 13 years as San Francisco’s district attorney, despite a substantial number of allegations having been brought, but according to Schweizer, her office “would strangely hide vital records on abuses that had occurred.” Harris herself also had strong personal ties to lawyers who “negotiated the agreement to bury the abuse records from public view,” as Breitbart noted.

Further exploring Harris’ questionable record on this issue, Schweizer went on to document a curious financial relationship between her and powerful figures associated with the Catholic Church, indicating that “Harris had no particular ties to the Catholic Church or Catholic organizations, but the money still came in large, unprecedented sums.”

One major donor was attorney Joseph Russoniello, who served on the National Review Board of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and had provided his services in a number of abuse cases.

“Russoniello donated the maximum amount by law to her campaign, $1,250, and his law firm added another $2,250,” Schweizer pointed out. “He also sat on Harris’s advisory council when she was San Francisco district attorney.”

“Unusual” donor support

As the author explained, Russoniello wasn’t unique in sending significant sums of money Harris’ way, as another church-connected attorney was quick to hand it over as well.

“Another law firm, Bingham McCutcheon, which handled legal matters for the archdiocese concerning Catholic Charities, donated $2,825, the maximum allowed,” Schweizer added.

The author stressed the fact that “Bingham McCutcheon had only donated to two other candidates running for office in San Francisco before, for a total of $650,” adding that like “Russoniello, their support was unusual.”

Additionally, he stated that “board members of San Francisco Catholic archdiocese-related organizations and their family members donated another $50,950 to Harris’s campaign.”

Harris’ unwillingness to prosecute sexual abuse cases involving Catholic priests has long elicited outrage from victim advocacy groups, but to little effect. While those who suffered harm at the hands of religious leaders deserve answers from the person who refused to help them pursue justice, it is doubtful that the mainstream journalists currently swooning over Harris will press her to provide any.

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