It just doesn’t stop.
Another top Democrat, this time Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), was at the center of a sexual harassment claim in 2015 that was kept secret, according to affidavits obtained by BuzzFeed News.
According to an NPR report, his accuser claims that she was wrongfully terminated for revealing that Conyers made repeated sexual advances against her and other female staff members. The woman who also reportedly chose to remain anonymous due to fear of retribution.
Politico reported that Rep. Conyers acknowledged the settlement, but denied the sexual harassment claims.
The affidavit shows that Rep. Conyers settled the sexual harassment claim by giving his accuser $27,000 -- and it just gets worse from there.
Conyers allegedly used taxpayer funds to pay his accuser, as the money came out of his office budget. In a statement, the congressman seemingly tried to mitigate the situation:
My office resolved the allegations – with an express denial of liability – in order to save all involved from the rigors of protracted litigation. That should not be lost in the narrative.
The two most senior Democrats behind Rep. Conyers on the House Judiciary Committee called for an ethics probe into the matter. Conyers agreed to cooperate with them.
BuzzFeed also reported the affidavits showing that Conyers “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.”
The news spells increasing trouble for House Democrats. Conyers is the longest serving member of the House and the co-founder of the Congressional Black Caucus, a key voting bloc in the House. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) claimed that she was not aware of the settlement, according to a statement from her office.
The allegations are especially troubling considering Conyers' supposed history championing women in the House. The Washington Examiner reported Rep. Maxine Waters oozing praise on Rep. Conyers for his apparent commitment to women’s issues.
“He has impeccable integrity on all of our issues,” she said during a late October address to the organizers of the Women’s March on Washington.