“Been Looking At These Things With Amazement”: Dem Rep. John Conyers Breaks Silence On Sex Scandal
The morning after Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) was hit with sexual harassment claims, the Associated Press went to the lawmaker’s Detroit home to seek comment. Conyers denied the report, claiming he has not settled any sexual harassment complaints with staffers.
Conyers, who answered the door at his Detroit home Tuesday morning, says he knows nothing about any claims of inappropriate touching and learned of the story just hours earlier.
Referring to allegations of sexual harassment and assault being made against politicians and others, the veteran lawmaker says he’s “been looking at these things with amazement.”
BuzzFeed reports that Conyers’ office paid the woman over $27,000 to settle the complaint under a confidentiality agreement. BuzzFeed also published affidavits from former staff members who said they had witnessed Conyers touching female staffers inappropriately or requesting sexual favors.
Documents from the complaint obtained by BuzzFeed News include four signed affidavits, three of which are notarized, from former staff members who allege that Conyers, the ranking Democrat on the powerful House Judiciary Committee, repeatedly made sexual advances to female staff that included requests for sexual favors, contacting and transporting other women with whom they believed Conyers was having affairs, caressing their hands sexually, and rubbing their legs and backs in public. Four people involved with the case verified the documents are authentic.
Buzzfeed also reported that staffers were tasked with flying women in for Conyers using Congressional resources.
One affidavit from a former female employee states that she was tasked with flying in women for the congressman. “One of my duties while working for Rep. Conyers was 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,” said her affidavit. (A second staffer alleged in an interview that Conyers used taxpayer resources to fly women to him.)
Former employees also said that Conyers made it very clear that if they performed ‘personal favors’ it would lead to salary increases and promotions. It was well known Conyers was having affairs with multiple female staffers. He often made sexual advances towards women and grew angry if they brought their husbands around.