Putin ‘learns’ about the #MeToo allegations against a top lawmaker, just as Navalny's group releases new corruption evidence
After the call-in show ended, a journalist from the magazine RBC asked Putin about the sexual harassment allegations against State Duma deputyLeonid Slutsky. The president claimed not to know about the charges, though he also said he “has his own opinion about this issue,” alluding to the “Me Too” movement “in some Western countries and in Hollywood” that has addressed incidents from decades ago. Putin said these allegations should be addressed to the courts and officials in law enforcement.
In March, three journalists openly accused Leonid Slutsky, the chairman of the State Duma's International Affairs Committee, of inappropriate sexual advances. The State Duma's Ethics Committee later heard testimony from two of these women, but it decided to absolve Slutsky of any wrongdoing. To protest the ruling, several media outlets withdrew their parliamentary correspondents from the Duma or refused to cover any legislative activity by Slutsky. In retaliation, the government revoked these outlets' parliamentary accreditation.
As Putin's call-in show wrapped up, the Anti-Corruption Foundation published a new investigative report claiming that Slutsky owns a 600-square-meter (6,458-square-foot) penthouse (registered in his wife's name). He allegedly received the property in 2017 as a bribe from a businessman named Sergey Polonsky.
In early March 2018, the Anti-Corruption Foundation released evidence that Slutsky owns 2.5 acres of undeclared real estate in a swanky Moscow suburb, as well as a Bentley Continental Flying Spur, a Bentley Bentyaga, and a Mercedes-Maybach luxury sedan. According to Alexey Navalny's group, the Duma deputy also has hundreds of speeding tickets.