Rep. John Conyers Denies He Settled Sexual Harassment Claim After Report Surfaces

Pauline Gross
November 22, 2017

He told The Associated Press he hasn't settled any sexual harassment complaints with any staff members, adding he did not know about claims of inappropriate touching and learned of the story just hours earlier.

The leaders of the House Ethics Committee said in a statement Tuesday afternoon that the panel was opening an investigation into the allegations, including whether Conyers used official resources for impermissible personal purposes.

Other staffers also accused Conyers of using congressional resources to transport women with whom he was having affairs.

BuzzFeed obtained affidavits related to the complaint. A spokesman for Conyers said he "was under the impression the reporter was speaking of recent allegations of which he was unaware of and denied". Commenting on sexual harassment claims against politicians and celebrities, he said he has "been looking at these things with amazement". The congressman did not admit to fault as part of the settlement agreement. He is now the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee. A Committee hearing last week examining this issue led to a new policy of mandatory training for all members and staff. "My office resolved the allegations - with an express denial of liability - in order to save all involved from the rigors of protracted litigation".

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"Last month, I directed the Committee on House Administration to conduct a full review of all policies and procedures related to workplace harassment and discrimination".

BuzzFeed said it received the documents from right-wing activist Mike Cernovich, but independently confirmed their authenticity. Cernovich is the propagandist who published and distributed a number of false conspiracy theories during the 2016 election including the widely circulated "Pizzagate". Trump hits North Korea with new sanctions MORE (R-Ind.) and ranking Democrat Ted DeutchTheodore (Ted) Eliot DeutchDem lawmaker: Franken groping photo was "revolting" Sessions dodges questions on potential Trump pardons Sessions grilled by lawmakers from both parties MORE (Fla.) said in a joint statement. But on Thursday, the Office of Compliance revealed it's paid more than $17 million in settlements and awards since 1997 for violations of workplace rules, including sexual harassment. The Office of Compliance reportedly requires that sexual misconduct accusers agree to confidentiality before proceeding with their complaint.

Conyers regularly made sexual advances on female staffers and would ask them for sexual favors, according to the affidavits signed by his former staffers.

Other reports by GizPress

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