The House Ethics Committee has opened an investigation into Michigan Democrat Rep. John Conyers, after it was revealed Monday that Conyers paid a former employee more than $27,000 in taxpayer funding after allegedly firing her for refusing his sexual advances.
Sworn affidavits signed by former Conyers staffers portray him as a serial sexual predator who preyed on young, vulnerable female staffers. Conyers confirmed the settlement on Tuesday but denied any wrongdoing. (RELATED: REVEALED: Top Democrat Paid Off Sexual Harassment Accuser With $27K In Taxpayer Money)
“The Committee is aware of public allegations that Representative John Conyers, Jr. may have engaged in sexual harassment of his staff, discriminated against certain staff on the basis of age, and used official resources for impermissible personal purposes,” the committee said in a statement Tuesday afternoon. The statement adds that the committee “has begun an investigation and will gather additional information regarding these allegations.”
Conyers regularly made sexual advances on female staffers and would ask them for sexual favors, according to the affidavits signed by his former staffers. “Rep. Conyers strongly postulated that the performing of personal service or favors would be looked upon favorably and lead to salary increases or promotions,” one former employee said in an affidavit.
BuzzFeed News first reported the bombshell allegations and accompanying settlement on Monday after right-wing blogger Mike Cernovich provided the website with the documents.
Conyrers also allegedly abused taxpayer funds to shuttle in women with whom he had sexual relationships.
“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,” one former Conyers stated in an affidavit. Another staffer told BuzzFeed that Conyers used taxpayer funds to fly women into see him.
House Democrats had called for an investigation into Conyers, the longest-serving member of Congress, but stopped short of calling on him to resign.
Their reaction is similar to Senate Democrats’ call for a Senate Ethics Committee investigation into Minnesota Sen. Al Franken, after multiple women came forward saying the Democratic senator had groped them. Franken asked for an ethics committee investigation into himself, but declined to resign. (RELATED: Democrat Won’t Demand Franken Resignation Because His Accusations Are ‘Different’ From Moore’s