By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
After making international news late last week by announcing he impregnated a 14-year-old girl when he was 18, embattled congressional candidate Sen. Anthony Bouchard, R-Cheyenne, continues to lash out at a colleague who has been critical of him.
Bouchard is now claiming that Senate Majority Leader Ogden Driskill, R-Devils Tower, wants him removed from committee assignments in the Wyoming Senate as a result of the revelation.
“The RINO establishment led by Sen. Ogden Driskill wants to strip me of committees,” Bouchard wrote on Facebook. “Just like Pelosi did to #MTG (referring to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Georgia). BRING IT!!”
If there is such a plan, that’s news to Driskill, who said he was surprised by the charge.
“This is just another series of lies and misinformation from Anthony Bouchard,” Driskill told Cowboy State Daily.
“I know of no movement, no discussions, or any conversations about stripping Sen. Bouchard from his committees,” Driskill said. “I have not been contacted by anyone about this.”
Driskill said Bouchard should file an official complaint with the president of the state Senate and ask for a formal investigation if he believes there is any impropriety.
“I openly challenge him to pursue it,” Driskill said. “Unlike Bouchard, I’m transparent.”
The argument spilled over onto Bouchard’s Facebook page where Driskill called the senator a “liar” after addressing him as “Romeo” — a nickname popular political columnist Rod Miller coined last week.
“PURE LIE!!!! There has been no discussion with leadership – or other Senators about ANYTHING to do with Anthony Bouchard. Another pure fabrication and lie from Romeo,” Driskill wrote.
“Oops, the media put it on the record. Sorry Oggie. Will this be another comment that you pull down, like you did yesterday?” Bouchard asked without specifying a media outlet or what was put on the record.
“You are a liar— I have had no conservation with leadership or otherwise concerning you,” Driskill said.
State Senate President Dan Dockstader told the Casper Star-Tribune that he was “looking into” whether there would be any legislative repercussions stemming from Bouchard’s revelation.
Bouchard currently sits on four committees: the Management Audit Committee, the Senate Agriculture, State and Public Lands and Water Resources Committee, the Senate Labor, health and Social Services Committee and the Select Committee on Legislative Facilities, Technology and Processes.
Bouchard has been a member of the Wyoming Senate since 2017.
Bouchard and Driskill have been engaged in a battle of words since late last week, when Driskill was interviewed by U.K. media outlet The Daily Mail in London about Bouchard’s announcement.
“The lack of transparency he has shown is terrible,” Driskill told the outlet. “I’m not sure he should be running for Congress.”
In his 14-minute Facebook video response, Bouchard called Driskill “scum” and attacked him for talking with the Daily Mail about something that happened nearly 40 years ago.
“Ogden Driskill could have stayed out of this fight,” he said.
Driskill told Cowboy State Daily that he spoke publicly about the senator because Bouchard’s revelation was so egregious.
Driskill called Bouchard a “predator” and said there was a “huge difference” between a high school student dating a younger peer and a high school dropout who had a job and was “hanging out with 13 and 14-year-olds”.
Bouchard categorized the romance as a “Romeo and Juliet” story. The analogy was quickly condemned by the Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.
“Laws exist to protect young people involved in these situations,” executive director Kristen Schwartz told The Associated Press. “There’s a reason we have laws against sexual abuse of a minor and it’s because the brain of a 14-year-old is not developed enough to make mature decisions about sex and sexuality.”“
“Any language that would minimize things that are a crime is harmful. It’s harmful to survivors and it’s harmful to our greater community,” she added.
At the time, the two were able to marry because Florida law allowed marriage at any age if a pregnancy was involved and a parent consented. They were divorced about three years later, and the woman ultimately committed suicide in 1990.
Bouchard’s son, Tony Raymond Bouchard, is currently jailed at the Bob Wiley Detention Facility in Visalia, California, on multiple charges, including sodomy by use of force, sexual penetration by foreign object and false imprisonment by violence. He has been incarcerated since 2018, but hasn’t been officially convicted of the aforementioned charges.
Bouchard announced his run for Congress in January, not long after U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney voted to impeach former President Donald Trump for the role he allegedly played in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.