A former legal intern said that Ed Murray, Wyoming’s Secretary of State and possible gubernatorial candidate for 2018, sexually attacked her 35 years ago when she and Murray were at the same law firm.
Ed Murray is a Republican. His accuser, Tatiana Maxwell, is a real estate developer who has donated over $70,000 to various Democratic causes and candidates since 1998 (although, as the Casper Star-Tribune notes, she has not made any such donations since 2008).
However, Maxwell said her coming forth with allegations against Murray is not politically motivated. “It supersedes politics,” she said. “It’s about human behavior. It’s about right and wrong, and it’s about standing up for women.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Tatiana Maxwell Told Her Story on Social Media This Week
On December 11, Tatiana Maxwell made a Facebook post discussing something that allegedly happened between her and Murray 35 years ago:
For over 35 years, I’ve had this on my mind. I told close friends about the incident at the time and my then husband some years later. As this issue has grown across our country, my experience comes back to the forefront of my mind. You know, part of the problem is that it feels distasteful to talk about it. This is not polite talk and, somehow, embarrassing. But the reason why it isn’t polite talk isn’t because it shouldn’t be talked about. It’s because it isn’t decent behavior. And the person who should be embarrassed isn’t the person who talks about it, it’s the person who did it.
Maxwell went on to say that after she graduated from high school, she got a summer job at a Cheyenne law firm where Ed Murray was a young lawyer. She wrote:
We were sitting in the receptionist’s area of the law office which was had once been a home so I recall that this was the former living room. Ed and I had never gone out, hadn’t really talked much or knew each other well so when the talk quickly came to how attracted he was to me and he started putting his hands on me and tried to kiss me I was completely uncomfortable. I was a virgin and had never had sex with a man and I told Eddie so. I think that, and the fact that I struggled and wouldn’t let him unbutton my pants kept it from going further. What did happen is that Ed wrestled me down to the carpet in front of the receptionist desk, opened his pants, lifted up my blouse and ejaculated on my stomach. I was disgusted and horrified. One of the unforgettable memories was of him handing me the box of Kleenex from the receptionist’s desk to clean myself up after after he was finished. I cleaned up and got out as quickly as I could, Eddie apologizing for getting so excited but couching it in terms suggesting I ‘was just too attractive to resist.’
Maxwell’s husband Peter later told the media that the events in his wife’s Facebook post were consistent with things she had previously told him. Tatiana and Peter are currently getting a divorce.
2. Murray Has Been Wyoming’s Secretary of State for 3 Years
Murray’s biography on Wyoming’s Secretary of State website says that Murray is a fourth-generation Wyoming native. He was elected Wyoming’s 21st Secretary of State in November 2014; before entering politics, he spent 30 years as a real estate developer and investor.
Murray graduated from high school in 1976 and received an undergraduate degree in business administration, followed by a J.D. at the University of Wyoming College of Law.
Murray is a Republican, though the platform positions listed on his campaign website for Wyoming Secretary of State do not sound particularly partisan; among other things, he said, “I will defend the constitution and facilitate open records and transparency” and “I will make wise decisions on the boards and commissions through the lens of constitutionality and transparency.”
3. Murray and His Wife Have Four Adult Daughters
Murray and his wife have been married for over 30 years and have four adult daughters.
In December 2017, Murray became a grandfather.
4. Murray Denies Maxwell’s Allegations
After Tatiana Maxwell went public with her story, Murray issued a statement saying there is “no basis to this falsehood whatsoever.”
Maxwell, for her part, ended the Facebook post detailing her allegations against Murray with the following observation: “One of the hallmarks of so many of the harassment allegations against the men who harass is that it is rarely a single incident. I have certainly heard other rumors regarding Eddie. If there are other women who have stories, I hope this helps them feel less alone.” As of press time, no additional women have come forth with allegations regarding Murray.
5. He Has Not Played Along With President Trump’s ‘Voter Fraud’ Accusations
In the summer of 2017, Wyoming was one of more than 20 states that refused the request of the “Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity” to hand over voter data.
Speaking in his capacity as Wyoming Secretary of State, Murray in July 2017 told the Casper Star-Tribune that “I’m going to decline to provide any Wyoming voter information. It’s not sitting well with me.”
Murray added that he worried complying with the request might violate the privacy of Wyoming voters, and also might lead to federal overreach regarding state prerogatives. “Elections are the responsibility of states under the Constitution. I’m wondering if this request could lead to some federal overreach,” Murray said.
In October 2016, a month before the presidential election, Murray also publicly dismissed concerns that people in Wyoming were casting fraudulent votes in the names of dead people. As radio KGAB-AM reported, Murray said that anybody who dies is immediately purged form voter rolls, and living people casting votes in the name of the dead “cannot happen in Wyoming.”