Just hours after embattled Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) announced his decision to retire, another allegation of sexual harassment surfaced — and the details are startling.
Courtney Morse, 36, told The Washington Post about an alleged encounter she had with Conyers, the longest-serving member in the House of Representatives, when she was a 20-year-old college student working as an office intern.
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Morse explained to the Post that she quit her internship after the liberal Democrat “wrapped his hand around hers as it rested in her lap, and told her he was interested in a sexual relationship.” When Morse turned Conyers down, she said the lawmaker brought up the investigation of the disappearance of intern Chandra Levy.
“He said he had insider information on the case. I don’t know if he meant it to be threatening, but I took it that way,” she recalled. “I got out of the car and ran.”
Morse’s story was corroborated by her friend Matthew Salomon, who she lived with during the internship. He backed up the former intern’s account and noted he approached Conyers’s car to confront the congressman, but he drove away.
In the first months of her internship, before the alleged encounter in the car, which arose when Conyers offered her a ride home, she said the Democrat did nothing inappropriate. Prior to the reported incident, Morse described Conyers as “an icon” — the same verbiage House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) used to describe him days before she demanded his resignation.
The first red flag, though, was when Conyers offered Morse a ride home. The alleged incident described in this story occurred the second time Conyers drove her back to her residence.
“I thought it was odd that he was driving home an intern,” she said. “It was out of the way, so it wasn’t convenient.”
Shortly after, Morse returned home to Ohio, ending her internship two or three weeks early.
Conyers’s attorney Arnold Reed rejected the latest accusation against the outgoing lawmaker, who has endorsed his son to take his place. Reed dismissed the new claims as “ripple effects” from the original allegations against Conyers.