Lawyer for Cain’s accuser: On second thought, she’d rather not relive this publicly

No video yet, but it sure sounds like that’s the end of that. For now.

Who knew the big finale would end Sopranos-style?

Bennett said his client sees “no value” in revisiting the issue now, but “stands by the complaint that she made.”

Bennett said his client would disagree with Cain’s characterization of the alleged harassment incidents.

He confirmed that the alleged harassment occurred in 1999 over a period of “at least a month or two.” There was “more than one incident,” he said.

And here’s the key part of the statement from the NRA:

“Based upon the information currently available, we can confirm that more than a decade ago, in July 1999, Mr. Bennett’s client filed a formal internal complaint, in accordance with the Association’s existing policies prohibiting discrimination and harassment. Mr. Herman Cain disputed the allegations in the complaint. The Association and Mr. Bennett’s client subsequently entered into an agreement to resolve the matter, without any admission of liability. Mr. Cain was not a party to that agreement. The agreement contains mutual confidentiality obligations. Notwithstanding the Association’s ongoing policy of maintaining the privacy of all personnel matters, we have advised Mr. Bennett that we are willing to waive the confidentiality of this matter and permit Mr. Bennett’s client to comment. As indicated in Mr. Bennett’s statement, his client prefers not to be further involved with this matter and we will respect her decision.

Does that waiver apply only to today’s statement or is it a general waiver that would allow her to speak if she changes her mind down the road? Because if he’s the nominee, the left will be keenly interested in hearing from her, especially now that the promise of multiple incidents has been dangled in front of them. And the worse the economy looks, the keener that interest will be. There is, or was, potential for this to hurt him among GOP primary voters too, but unless something more specific than gossip like this drops, that potential’s gone now. WaPo’s new poll, conducted after the Politico story broke, finds him still neck and neck with Romney, with 70 percent saying the allegations won’t matter to their vote. There’s room for that to change — 37 percent of Republicans polled called the charges a “serious matter” — but it’s 4:45 p.m. ET on Friday as I write this and, after a full week of accusations, we still have yet to hear a single credible detailed account of what happened between him and the accusers. Hard to believe anyone’s vote is changing based on that.

Here’s CBS’s report on the settlement agreement that was signed between the NRA and one of the accusers in September 1999 (yes, 9/99). Cain himself didn’t sign, and had actually left the NRA in June of that year; it’s unclear if the woman filed the complaint before or after he departed. CBS points to that as evidence that Cain really might not have known about the settlement, as he first asserted earlier this week. Could be, but he did find out about the underlying accusations at some point: Remember, he told Richard Miniter that he mentioned them to Curt Anderson back in 2003 when he was a Senate candidate. Ah well. Maybe the timeline will be clarified in one of Politico’s next 90 stories about this.

Update: Jim Geraghty summarizes the argument from the accuser’s lawyer thusly: “I won’t say what he did, but trust me, he’s guilty of wrongdoing.”

Update: Interesting question from Nate Silver. Cain’s numbers probably won’t shrink because of this, but will the way the campaign handled things create a ceiling on his support?

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