The latest allegation of sleazy behavior on Capitol Hill involves Rep. John Conyers, the longest-serving member of the House. According to BuzzFeed, the Michigan Democrat's office paid $27,000 in 2015 to settle a sexual misconduct complaint from a woman who said she was fired for rejecting his advances. Documents related to the case seen by BuzzFeed include affidavits from staff members describing how Conyers would repeatedly make advances on female staffers. One staffer alleges that Conyers used taxpayer money to transport women he was having affairs with. BuzzFeed says the documents were provided by pro-President Trump activist Mike Cernovich, but it has independently verified them.
In the documents, the woman says Conyers regularly asked her for sexual favors and strongly suggested they could "lead to salary increases or promotions." She tells BuzzFeed that after the complaint, she had to deal with the complex, secretive, and intimidating process of reporting sexual harassment in Congress, which involves going through the Office of Compliance. She says she felt pressured into accepting the settlement in exchange for a confidentiality agreement. Conyers, 88, is the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee. His office didn't return calls from the AP and other outlets seeking comment Monday. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says she was unaware of the Conyers case, but she supports reforming the current process of reporting sexual misconduct, in which both parties sign nondisclosure agreements.