Rep. Conyers: Yes, I Settled, but I'm Innocent

Congressman confirms payment to woman who accused him of sexual misconduct
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 21, 2017 10:35 AM CST
Updated Nov 21, 2017 1:38 PM CST

(Newser) – Michigan Rep. John Conyers confirms that he did indeed pay a settlement to a woman who accused him of sexual misconduct, though he continues to deny the allegations. "My office resolved the allegations—with an express denial of liability—in order to save all involved from the rigors of protracted litigation," said Conyers in a statement, per NPR. "That should not be lost in the narrative." Conyers, who "vehemently" denied the allegations, also promised to cooperate with any congressional investigation that ensues. The statement came hours after the AP reported that the Democratic congressman had denied paying any such settlement.

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In fact, Conyers told an AP reporter that he learned about the accusations of sexual misconduct when many other people did: Tuesday morning, while watching television. In that interview, he denied BuzzFeed's report that he settled a complaint from a former female staffer in 2015 for $27,000. "I have been looking at these [allegations] in amazement," said the 88-year-old, who is accused in the report of repeatedly making advances on female staffers and firing one for refusing those advances. The Hill reports Paul Ryan earlier called the report "extremely troubling" and noted "additional reforms to the system [for reporting complaints] are under consideration." Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats support an ethics investigation of the complaints, per the AP and the Hill. (Read more John Conyers stories.)

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