More than 50 female Democratic lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives called on Monday for a congressional investigation into allegations by various women of sexual misconduct against President Donald Trump, who has denied the accusations.
"We cannot ignore the multitude of women who have come forward with accusations against Mr. Trump," the lawmakers wrote in their letter, though a formal inquiry was unlikely to result because Republicans control the agenda in Congress.
The letter, spearheaded by the Democratic women's working group, which is composed of all the party's female members in the House, was signed by 56 lawmakers. It followed a call earlier on Monday by three women who have accused Trump of sexual misconduct for a congressional investigation into his behavior.
The lawmakers' request for a probe was sent to leaders of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, the main investigative committee in the House.
Over the past two years, more than a dozen women have accused Trump of making unwanted sexual advances against them in the years before he entered politics. Monday's letter from the Democrats said there were at least 17 accusers and listed names.
"The president's own remarks appear to back up the allegations," the letter said, saying Trump had boasted "that he feels at liberty to perpetrate such conduct against women."
"The president should be allowed to present evidence in his own defense," said the lawmakers.
The letter was addressed to oversight panel Chairman Trey Gowdy, a Republican, and top Democrat Elijah Cummings.
Trump last year apologized for talking about groping women in a 2005 tape recording that surfaced weeks before the presidential election, and said he had not done the things he talked about.
More recently, Trump has told allies that the voice on the recording was not his, The New York Times reported recently.
Trump and White House officials have denied the sexual misconduct allegations against him, some of which date back to the 1980s.
"These false claims, totally disputed in most cases by eyewitness accounts, were addressed at length during last year’s campaign, and the American people voiced their judgment by delivering a decisive victory," a White House spokesperson said in a statement on Monday.
(Reporting by Susan Cornwell; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Leslie Adler)