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Housing Finance Director, Mel Watt, investigated for sexual harassment

WASHINGTON – The director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Melvin L. Watt, is being investigated for alleged sexual harassment of an employee, the agency said Friday.

Mr. Watt is approaching the end of his five-year tenure, when he heads the agency overseeing mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

. Watt, a Democrat appointed by President Barack Obama in 2013, said Friday he was the victim of politically motivated leaks and had not broken any laws.

"The selective leaks associated with this matter are supposed to be embarrassing, leading to an unfounded or political conclusion," Mr Watt said in a statement. "However, I am confident that the ongoing investigation will confirm that I have done nothing against the law."

The Trump government and Republicans in Congress have made revising the federal housing finance policy a priority for the second half of Mr. Trump's tenure. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, who help fund the real estate market by buying large volumes of mortgages issued by banks, have been under government supervision since the 2008 financial crisis. Steven Mnuchin, the finance minister, said he would like to put Fannie and Freddie back in private hands.

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