A Louisiana pastor says that a top aide to Rep. Vance McAllister (R-LA) leaked the video that surfaced on Monday that purportedly shows the Congressman making out with a 33-year-old female staffer, Melissa Hixon Peacock, in his district office.
According to The News-Star, Danny Chance, pastor of Christian Life Church, “said Monroe District Office manager Leah Gordon said she was taking the video to state Sen. Mike Walsworth, R-West Monroe, and Jonathan Johnson, who worked for former U.S. Rep. Rodney Alexander, R-Ruston.”
“I’m not taking up for the congressman; what he did was wrong,” Chance told the publication. “But I just feel like there is a conspiracy to bring Vance down and destroy him. For someone on his staff to do that is wrong.”
The pastor claimed that he “can produce witnesses” to support his claim, though Chance said he is protecting those witnesses’ identity for now. The News-Star reportedly spoke to one of the witnesses to verify the pastor’s claims.
The video first appeared in The Quachita Citizen, and Johnson said it was an “absolute lie” to suggest that he had seen the video before. He said he did not see the video until Monday, and “it’s the craziest thing I’ve heard in my life.”
The News-Star noted that Walsworth and Johnson worked for McAllister’s opponent in the special election, and Gordon, the staffer the pastor alleges leaked the video, had also previously worked in Alexander’s office.
Alexander–who allegedly used his Political Action Committee as a slush fund, according to an investigation in Government Accountability Institute President Peter Schweizer’s Extortion–left Congress to work in Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration, which led to the special election.
McAllister’s office said that they are looking into whether federal laws were broken, and the News-Star noted that “the only people with access to the security video were landlord Bill Land, his employee and Gordon.”
Land said he would be glad to take a polygraph “to clear our name.”
McAllister has vowed to continue to serve “unless there is an outcry for me not to serve, and so far there has been an outpouring of support, not for my actions, but for me to continue to represent the people.”
McAllister, the freshman Representative who won a special election after being endorsed by Duck Dynasty‘s Willie Robertson, is married and has five children. He said this was the first time that he has been unfaithful to his wife.
Peacock’s husband, Heath, said the couple was headed for divorce.
“I’m just freaking devastated by the whole deal, man. I loved my wife so much. I cannot believe this. I cannot freaking believe it. I feel like I’m going to wake up here in a minute and this is all going to be a bad nightmare,” Heath Peacock, who said he did not know about the incident until hours before the video was released, told CNN Tuesday. “He has wrecked my life. We’re headed for divorce.”