Democratic Congressman John Conyers didn’t just sexually harass female staffers, he also verbally abused and bullied them. He even called one into a meeting in his office wearing only underwear.
That’s what top Washington attorney, Melanie Sloan, says. “He would yell and scream at me,” Sloan told CBS News. “There was a time where he screamed at me for not wearing stockings.”
Sloan also said Conyers once summoned her to his office. When she arrived, she found him in his underwear.
“I was pretty taken aback to see my boss half-dressed,” she told the Washington Post. “I turned on my heel and I left.”
Sloan said Conyers, 88, verbally abused her when she worked for him as a House Judiciary Committee staffer from 1995 to 1998. Conyers — the longest-serving member of the House of Representative — is the ranking Democrat on the powerful House Judiciary Committee.
Unlike his other accusers, Sloan claims Conyers did not sexually harass her, notwithstanding the Underwear Incident. But his unhinged behavior may actually be worse in some ways because it suggests the Michigan lawmaker has absolutely no respect for women. That contradicts his manufactured public image as a champion for women’s rights.
Sloan said she complained about the bullying to her supervisors, but was waved off, presumably because Conyers has been a U.S. congressman since 1965. “I was dismissed and told I must be mentally unstable,” she recalled.
The House Ethics Committee opened an investigation into Conyers last week amid reports he had used $27,000 in taxpayer money to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by another former staffer.
Three other former employees have accused Conyers of groping them inappropriately, repeatedly pressuring them for sex, and asking one to touch his penis. He’s also accused of using taxpayer funds to fly women to his hotel room or apartment for sex.
Conyers told CNN he has no plans to resign despite mounting calls from Democrats for him to step down. During his 52 years as a congressman, Conyers has been hailed as an advocate for women’s rights by fellow Democrats.
In October 2017, Congresswoman Maxine Waters — a longtime ally — praised Conyers for his “impeccable integrity” on women’s issues.
“There is a member of Congress who has been supportive of women for many, many, many years,” Waters said. “He has impeccable integrity on all of our issues. Give John Conyers a big round of applause!”
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