Updated at 10:55 pm: The Flint Journal reports that Congressman Kildee WILL NOT hold a press conference on Monday. According to the newspaper, Kildee has agreed to "an in person interview with the Flint Journal and at least one other media outlet." Michigan Radio will also try to speak with Congressman Kildee on Monday.
Michigan congressman Dale Kildee (D) is denying allegations by distant relatives that he sexually abused a then-12-year-old second cousin several decades ago.
Kildee released a statement Sunday evening calling the 50-year-old allegations "completely false and shameful." The Washington Times first reported the allegations and posted on its website video interviews with the alleged victim's mother, stepfather and sister.
Kildee is planning to retire next year after 34 years representing his hometown of Flint and the surrounding area. He says he suspects political opponents are using the allegations in an effort to win the open seat. He also alleges the accusations are a blackmail attempt.
Below is the statement released today by Kildee's office:
"The allegations against me are completely false and shameful. I regret having to air all of this in public, but I feel like I have no choice.
This is a concerted effort by distant relatives, two of whom have a long history of mental illness and multiple run-ins with the law, along with political adversaries to destroy my reputation by lying about something that never took place more than 50 years ago.
Republicans tried to peddle these scurrilous allegations during my last congressional race and authorities and reputable news outlets rejected these false allegations. Now they are back at it again to try to win an open congressional seat. These allegations resurfaced recently when the accuser’s son asked me for money and federal benefits, which I refused to do and which I formally reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The following audio tapes (not included here because they contain personal information - Michigan Radio) were recently posted online by the family in which they discuss in their own words how they attempted to blackmail me. They further state that they have no evidence to support their claims while discussing at length the long history of mental illness. Twenty years ago, the accuser’s wife called me demanding federal benefits. On the audio, the family admits to the blackmail and says the accuser’s wife said, “you're going to get me his Social Security disability, or I'm going to go public with that."
In addition, this letter is the last communication I had with my second cousin 23 years ago. The letter clearly shows he held no animosity towards me and can only be categorized as bizarre.”
Various press reports say Congressman Kildee will hold a press conference on Monday to address the allegations. As of 9:10 on Sunday night, Michigan Radio had not been informed about such a press conference taking place, and there is no answer at the Congressman's office.