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Watt accuser invited to testify at House Financial Services hearing

The Federal Housing Finance Agency employee who accused director Mel Watt of sexual harassment has been invited to testify at a congressional hearing on oversight of the agency on Thursday.

Staff for the majority and minority of the House Financial Services Committee will meet this afternoon with Simone Grimes, the woman who this summer accused Watt of repeated sexual advances during conversations about her job and salary concerns, a committee spokeswoman said.

Committee Ranking Member Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) on Monday said Grimes should be allowed to speak, in a letter to Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas).

"The Committee had been in contact with Ms. Grimes' attorney prior to the Ranking Member's letter and requested she come in to meet with staff to present her claims and supporting evidence — as is our regular practice for anyone making claims of this nature," Hensarling spokeswoman Sarah Flaim said in an email today.

"She is expected to meet with majority and minority staff this afternoon and has been invited to testify on Thursday pending the meeting with staff," Flaim said.


Grimes, who was alerted by POLITICO this morning to Waters' request, said she is "100 percent willing" to testify.

Watt oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the country's dominant mortgage-financing companies.


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