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GOP Congressman Intimidates Woman Out Of Her Job Because She Is ‘Anti-Trump’


GOP Congressman Intimidates Woman Out Of Her Job Because She Is ‘Anti-Trump’

A bank employee in New Jersey left her job after a Republican Congressman personally warned her employers about her political affiliation.

It’s not that Saily Avelenda was doing anything wrong, or unusual; she was simply organizing as part of NJ 11th for Change, which has asked Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen to oppose President Donald Trump’s agenda.

But that didn;t sit well with Frelinghuysen who felt compelled to intervene.

But that was apparently enough for Frelinghuysen to intervene.

The congressman wrote a fundraising letter to a board member of a local bank, warning him that a member of an activist group opposing the Republican worked at his bank, and that she is an anti-trump “ringleader,” WNYC reports.

WNYC’s reporter Nancy Solomon offers the details:

“The employee was questioned and criticized for her involvement in NJ 11th for Change, a group that formed after the election of Donald Trump and has been pressuring Frelinghuysen to meet with constituents in his district and oppose the Trump agenda.

“Needless to say, that did cause some issues at work that were difficult to overcome,” said Saily Avelenda of West Caldwell, New Jersey, who was a senior vice president and assistant general counsel at the bank before she resigned. She says the pressure she received over her political involvement was one of several reasons she decided to leave.”

The campaign for Frelinghuysen, who’s chair of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, wrote a statement to WNYC confirming the congressman’s actions:

“The Congressman wrote a brief and innocuous note at the bottom of a personal letter in regard to information that had been reported in the media. He was in no way involved in any of the bank’s business and is unaware of any of the particulars about this employee’s status with the bank.”

You can read the letter below:


Lawyers and ethics experts told WNYC that the letter likely won’t lead to legal trouble, since it doesn’t make any explicit threats or use congressional stationery.

But the letter is certainly troubling: A congressman used his bully pulpit to effectively intimidate one of his constituents out of a job.

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