Even as the United States Senate is set to vote on the nomination of Eric Garcetti as the country’s next ambassador to India, a former aide of the former Los Angeles mayor said that he is “unfit” to honour the responsibilities and position of a diplomatic emissary.
“He is unfit to become an ambassador or really to hold public office anywhere in this country or this world,” Naomi Seligman, a former communication’s director for Garcetti, told CNN.
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Garcetti, a Joe Biden loyalist, is accused of enabling sexual harassment and bullying during his time in the office. Biden’s nominating Garcetti as Ambassador to India has remained controversial because of this reason. The last Congress did not vote on his nomination because of the sexual harassment allegations.
Garcetti has been accused of not taking action against his close aide Rick Jacobs accused of sexual misconduct during his tenure as the Mayor of Los Angeles. The New Indian reported about this development exclusively in March.
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In her interview Seligman also said that “the White House has put undue pressure on Democrats to vote for Eric Garcetti because Eric Garcetti has been a very, very loyal person to President Biden, and that’s unfortunate.”
She called out the double standards of Democrat senators. “These senators that purport to support #MeToo cannot just do it when it’s politically expedient. They have to do it when it matters, even if it’s your own political party,” she said.
The US did not assign an envoy to New Delhi since January 2021, which means that the position is lying vacant for more than two years. This is the first time in the history of the India-US bilateral relationship that an envoy has not been appointed to New Delhi for more than two years.
If voted by the Senate, Garcetti would soon head to India as US Ambassador. The confirmation vote on his nomination is scheduled at 2.15 pm local Washington time.
Meanwhile, on social media, a video has surfaced that shows Garcetti telling the Senate Foreign Relations Committee member Maryland’s Democrat senator Ben Cardin during his confirmation that he would bring up human rights and discrimination such as via the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) as a “core” piece of his engagement rather than as an obligation.
“There are groups that are actively fighting for the human rights of people on the ground in India that will get direct engagement from me. We know that democracies are complicated and we can look at our own and at India’s but it is a cornerstone of our shared values,” Garcetti told Cardin in the video from 2021.
In September, The New Indian was the first to flag the problematic nomination of Garcetti. Ambassador-designate Garcetti is believed to be not just US president Joe Biden’s most trusted man but a confidante of the CIA as well. With Garcetti in Delhi, Washington will execute its “South Asia plan”, said sources. In the last week of August, Garcetti visited Japan and Indonesia.
We also were the first to report that the tainted US Ambassador-Designate was lobbying for senate votes. He didn’t have 50 votes in his favour in the Senate to confirm his position — a fact admitted by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
The New Indian exclusively reported on how Garcetti’s patrons were lobbying law firm McGuireWoods to turn the votes in his favour.