The top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee John Conyers settled a complaint in 2015 from a woman who claimed she was fired from his staff for rejecting his sexual advances, BuzzFeed News reported on Monday. That report alleges that Conyers' office paid the woman over $27,000 to settle the complaint, which was allegedly settled under a confidentiality agreement.
BuzzFeed obtained documents from the complaint, which includes four signed affidavits, three of which are notarized. The affidavits appear to be from former staff members who claim Conyers, 88, repeatedly made sexual advances toward women on his staff. He is accused of requesting sexual favors and touching women in public.
According to BuzzFeed News, four people involved with the case verified that the obtained documents are authentic. One former staffer member claimed that it was her job "to keep a list of women that I assumed he was having affairs with and call them at his request and, if necessary, have them flown in using Congressional resources."
Conyers told The Associated Press on Tuesday morning that he knew nothing about any claims of inappropriate touching, and he had only just learned of the story while watching TV. Later in the afternoon, Conyers acknowledged his office had settled a harassment complaint with a former employee, but denied the allegations against him.
“I expressly and vehemently denied the allegations made against me, and continue to do so,” Conyers stated.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has called for a formal ethics investigation into Conyers following the allegations.
Right-wing activist Mike Cernovich reportedly gave the documents to BuzzFeed News because Democrats would "try to discredit the story by attacking the messenger" if he just published them himself.
According to The Associated Press, the government has paid a whopping $17 million in taxpayer dollars over the last two decades to resolve sexual harassment claims, overtime pay disputes and other workplace violations filed by employees of Congress.
[Photo: Getty Images]
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