The House Ethics Committee on Tuesday launched an investigation into Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), following a BuzzFeed report that he had made sexual advances on staffers and reached a settlement with one former staffer who said she was fired for rejecting such advances.
“The Committee is aware of public allegations that Representative John Conyers, Jr. may have engaged in sexual harassment of members of his staff, discriminated against certain staff on the basis of age, and used official resources for impermissible personal purposes,” the chairwoman and ranking member of the committee, Reps. Susan Brooks (R-IN) and Ted Deutch (D-FL), wrote in a statement Tuesday. “The Committee, pursuant to Committee Rule 18(a), has begun an investigation and will gather additional information regarding these allegations.”
BuzzFeed reported Monday night on allegations that Conyers had made advances on and asked for sexual favors from staffers, in addition to using public funds to fly in women, with whom staffers believed Conyers was having affairs, to Washington, D.C.
Right-wing conspiracist Mike Cernovich provided BuzzFeed with the affidavits on which the reporting was first inspired. BuzzFeed also described a $27,000 settlement Conyers’ reached with a female staffer who claimed to have been fired for rejecting his advances.
Conyers vehemently denied wrongdoing in a statement Tuesday, but acknowledged that he had “resolved the allegations – with an express denial of liability – in order to save all involved from the rigors of protracted litigation.”