After one of Rep. John Conyers's (D-Mich.) staffers was allegedly fired for not succumbing to his sexual advances, she signed a confidentiality agreement as part of a settlement regarding complaints that came to light on Monday.
Conyers faced allegations from multiple women, whose stories appeared in documents obtained by BuzzFeed News. While Conyers's office denied multiple requests for comment, the documents allege that Conyers not only approached them with sexual requests, he also had staffers fly in women with whom they believed he was having affairs.
The woman who signed a confidentiality agreement said she felt pressure to stay quiet after undergoing a closed-door process with Congress. “I was basically blackballed. There was nowhere I could go,” she told BuzzFeed who kept her name secret.
Congress's Office of Compliance requires that sexual misconduct accusers sign a confidentiality agreement, as part of a long process involving counseling and mediation, before proceeding with their complaint.
Several of Conyers's staffers signed affidavits for Congress's Office of Compliance describing how, among other things, the congressman touched one woman in a sexual manner and grew angry when she was near him with her husband:
In her complaint, the former employee said Conyers repeatedly asked her for sexual favors and often asked her to join him in a hotel room. On one occasion, she alleges that Conyers asked her to work out of his room for the evening, but when she arrived the congressman started talking about his sexual desires. She alleged he then told her she needed to “touch it,” in reference to his penis, or find him a woman who would meet his sexual demands.
She alleged Conyers made her work nights, evenings, and holidays to keep him company.
In another incident, the former employee alleged the congressman insisted she stay in his room while they traveled together for a fundraising event. When she told him that she would not stay with him, she alleged he told her to “just cuddle up with me and caress me before you go.”
“Rep. Conyers strongly postulated that the performing of personal service or favors would be looked upon favorably and lead to salary increases or promotions,” the former employee said in the documents.
Three other staff members provided affidavits submitted to the Office Of Compliance that outlined a pattern of behavior from Conyers that included touching the woman in a sexual manner and growing angry when she brought her husband around.
Pro-Trump activist Mike Cernovich provided BuzzFeed with the documents which four other people, including the accuser, involved in the case confirmed were authentic.