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Timeline: The Rise And Fall Of An Oregon Congressman


  • April 8, 1955—David Wu is born in Hsinchu, Taiwan

  • 1961: David Wu immigrates to the U.S. as a six-year-old. His family settles in Latham, New York.

  • 1977: Graduates from Stanford with a degree in biology.

  • 1982: Graduates from Yale Law School.

  • 1984: Joins Miller Nash law firm.

  • 1988: Co-founds the firm Cohen and Wu.

  • 1998—Wu is first elected to the United States House of Representatives in Oregon’s 1st congressional district.

  • 1999: Begins term representing Congressional District 1.

  • 2004: Wu issues apology for incident from 1976 in which he allegedly sexually attacked his college girlfriend. He says he was disciplined at the time by Stanford.

  • 2007: Wu makes statement about Klingons that goes “viral” on the Internet.

  • 2009: Wu files for separation from his wife Michelle Maxine Wu after 13 years of marriage.

  • October and November 2010: Wu runs in the closest race since being elected to the 1st congressional district defeating Republican challenger Rob Cornilles with 55% of the vote. OPB: Candidates Launch TV Ad Campaigns

  • Jan. 2011: The Oregonian reported that six of Wu’s high-level staffers quit after the election due to complaints about his public behavior, including odd outbursts to congress. Oregonian: Wu Loses Staffers

  • Feb. 18, 2011: Reports emerge about erratic behavior including strange emails and word that he took prescription medications from a donor. Willamette Week publishes pictures of Wu in a tiger suit around the time that staffers were complaining about his behavior. Reports emerge that staffers “demanded he enter a hospital for psychiatric treatment.” Willamette Week: Wu’s Staff Threatened To Shut Down Campaign

  • Feb 22, 2011: “I’m in a good place now.” Wu appears on good morning America and his mental health problems and a controversy about him taking medication for which he did not have a prescription. ABC: David Wu Has Regrets

  • March 2011, 2011: Willamette Week reports that David Wu crashed into a car when he was driving the wrong way down a residential street on February 9, 2010. Willamette Week: Asleep At The Wheel

  • July 22, 2011: The Oregonian reports that a young woman called David Wu’s Portland office last spring, accusing him of an “unwanted sexual encounter” in Orange County over Thanksgiving.

  • July 25, 2011: House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi, launches a House ethics probe concerning the allegations that Wu had an “aggressive unwanted sexual encounter” with an 18-year-old woman. Wu says he will not seek reelection but plans on completing his term in Congress.

  • July 26, 2011: Wu announces his resignation after Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, Oregon’s two Democratic senators, call for him to step down. “The well being of my children must come before anything else. With great sadness, I therefore intend to resign effective upon the resolution of the debt-ceiling crisis. This is the right decision for my family, the institution of the House, and my colleagues,” Wu said in his statement of resignation. OPB: Congressman David Wu Announces Decision To Resign.

Sources: Wu’s biography on his official Congressional website and local news archives including OPB and the Oregonian and Willamette Week.

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