Rep. Conyers has no plans to to resign, denies allegations

Rep. Conyers has no plans to to resign, denies allegations

U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, who on Friday shared her own stories of sexual harassment in Washington, a young woman during a CNN interview, said the allegations against Conyers should be referred to the House Ethics committee "for a transparent, fair and thorough investigation".

The Michigan Democrat did acknowledge that he had reached a settlement, seeming to contradict what he had told the Associated Press on Tuesday morning.

"I expressly and vehemently denied the allegations made against me, and continue to do so", Conyers, who has spent 53 years in Congress, said. "That should not be lost in the narrative".

"The resolution was not for millions of dollars, but rather for an amount that equated to a reasonable severance payment".

The statement said that Conyers has "no plans to resign" despite calls for him to do so.

However, a defiant Conyers said in a statement "the mere making of an allegation does not mean it is true". Conyers has denied sexually harassing his staffers.

BuzzFeed reported on Monday that Conyers' office paid the woman under a confidentiality agreement.

BuzzFeed reported Monday that Conyers settled a wrongful termination complaint in 2015 with a staffer who claimed she was dismissed because she did not "succumb to [his] sexual advances".

"The fantastic part is that, in one of those affidavits, it says that they used congressional resources to fly in people to Washington, D.C., for affairs for him", Republican U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga of Zeeland told Fox Business Network. The reporter repeated to Conyers the claims made in the BuzzFeed report. Buzzfeed broke the story that after the woman was sacked in 2014, she filed a complaint with Congress's Office of Compliance.

BuzzFeed's report on the allegations against Conyers included a former employee who accused Conyers of firing her when she refused his advances.

The Ethics Committee announced late Tuesday it opened an investigation.

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The 88-year-old Conyers is the top Democrat on the House judiciary committee and the longest-serving current member of the House. Speier also called for an ethics investigation.

"In our country, we strive to honor this fundamental principle that all are entitled to due process", Conyers said in a statement.

The Ethics Committee has launched a review.

The paper called Conyers' actions "the kind of behavior that can never be tolerated in a public official, much less an elected representative of the people".

This was echoed by Jerry Nadler of NY, who said: "The allegations are extremely serious and deeply troubling. The committee. has begun an investigation and will gather additional information regarding these allegations".

U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler of NY - the second-ranking Democrat behind Conyers on the House Judiciary Committee - called the allegations "extremely serious and deeply troubling", adding that there "can be no tolerance for behavior that subjects women to the kind of conduct alleged".

"A House member can't retain an employee who isn't performing work commensurate with the pay, and regardless, can't give back pay for work that stretches further than a month", the editorial board wrote.

The Office of Compliance released the numbers amid a wave of revelations of sexual misconduct in the worlds of entertainment, business and politics that made its way to Capitol Hill last week. "The current process includes the signing of non-disclosure agreements by the parties involved", Pelosi said in ainitial statement.

"As Members of Congress, we each have a responsibility to uphold the integrity of the House of Representatives and to ensure a climate of dignity and respect, with zero tolerance for harassment, discrimination, bullying or abuse", Pelosi said in a statement Tuesday.

After BuzzFeed News revealed a secret settlement of a sexual harassment complaint against Michigan Rep. John Conyers, a small rush of members signed up to co-sponsor the Member and Employee Training and Oversight On Congress Act (dubbed the ME TOO Act) to make significant reforms to the complaint process.