DesJarlais transcripts show sexual relationships, abortions
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -
The Tennessee Democratic Party says transcripts of Rep. Scott DesJarlais' divorce more than a decade ago show he engaged in "multiple sexual relationships and drug use with patients" along with "mutual consent" for his then-wife's two abortions.
The party requested the hundreds of pages of documents during the recent 4th District Congressional race where the physician DesJarlais easily won a second term by defeating Democratic challenger Eric Stewart.
The state party went to court in Chattanooga the day before the November 6 election to obtain the court documents after there was word they contained information of DesJarlais' relationships with other women while he was going through a divorce from his first wife in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
The lengthy documents needed several days of transcription before being released to the Tennessee Democratic Party.
In a statement, party chair Chip Forrester said, "Congressman Scott DesJarlais' lies have come home to roost. Just like he abused his power as a doctor and violated the trust of his patients, he has betrayed those who have defended him by deceiving them about his affairs with patients. The power brokers in the Republican Party can no longer hide behind DesJarlais' shameful and selfish lies. Reality is staring them in the face. It's time they addressed these disgusting facts and held him accountable for his continued pattern of lies, deception and hypocrisy.
"He lied to us about his record when he ran for office the first time and he lied to Tennesseans again during his second campaign. DesJarlais has acted irresponsibly, his actions are contemptible and his tangled web of deceit is sickening. Scott DesJarlais should be barred from practicing medicine, and he should give up his seat in Congress to make way for someone worthy of the trust that Tennesseans instill in their elected officials."
The party released the following excerpt from the transcripts of a cross examination of DesJarlais:
Q. Now, you and [PATIENT NAME] carried on for about from January of 2000 to April of 2000, did you not? A. Four months. Q. According to you? A. Yes. Q. And then you kept calling her in June of 2000 after you and Susan had been reconciled, didn't you? A. I called her a couple of times. Q. Phone records indicate that? A. Yes. Q. And she was an employee of the hospital? A. No. Q. She was a patient of yours? A. Yes. Q. And you wrote her prescriptions and you have told us about your concern about these prescriptions, but you wrote her prescriptions, did you not, Doctor, give her medicine, drugs? A. I wrote patients prescriptions, yes. Q. I'm talking about [PATIENT NAME], the lady you are sleeping with. A. Yes, she is a patient and I wrote her prescriptions. Q. Okay. So we have got a patient that you are sleeping with that you are writing prescriptions to? A. Yes.
It was also revealed in the transcripts that DesJarlais's former wife had two abortions.
The now Pro-Life Republican tells the court in 2001 about his then wife's abortions while being questioned by an attorney.
Q. Has your wife, Susan DesJarlais, ever had an abortion? A. Yes, she has. Q. How many? A. Three. Q. Do you know when those occurred? A. Yes. Q. When? A. One occurred prior to our meeting and two occurred shortly after we were together.
Details in the divorce transcript goes on to say about one of the abortions that "things were not going well between us and it was a mutual decision."
He then adds, "I don't think that it was easy for either one of us, I think it was a very difficult and poor choice."
The documents from 2001 also included testimony from a patient he dated that showed he urged her to get an abortion.
One page reads with a lawyer asking "was there ever the subject of an abortion brought up?"
"Yes, sir" says the former patient. "And who brought that up?" asks the attorney. "Dr. Desalts," replies his former patient. "and what was he wanting you do to? "to have an abortion" the woman said.
DesJarlais, whose campaign platform opposed abortion, acknowledged the conversation but said he was only trying to get her to admit she wasn't pregnant.
The transcripts show that woman testified under oath that she had been pregnant. She declined to elaborate on the outcome of the pregnancy.
There has been no immediate response from the congressman or his office.
Party Executive Director Adam Nickas
told Nashville's News 2 the party "Can't speak for the
congressman, any statement will have to come from him."
On election night, DesJarlais told reporters that it was disappointing that his "difficult 14-year-old divorce" once again became an issue in his race, instead of the issues.