Speaker Ryan Responds to 'Extremely Troubling' Report About a Sitting Congressman

By CNSNews.com Staff | November 21, 2017 | 10:09 AM EST

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) (Photo: C-SPAN)

(CNSNews.com) - Without naming names, House Speaker Paul Ryan on Tuesday issued a statement responding to a report that a sitting member of the House of Representatives -- the longest-serving member -- settled a "wrongful dismissal complaint" in 2015 with a woman who said she was fired because she refused the congressman's sexual advances.

BuzzFeed reported that it has documents, including four signed affidavits, from former staff members of Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.).

Those documents reportedly reveal that Conyers "repeatedly made sexual advances to female staff that included requests for sexual favors, contacting and transporting other women with whom they believed Conyers was having affairs, caressing their hands sexually, and rubbing their legs and backs in public," BuzzFeed reported.

Conyers told the Associated Press on Wednesday morning he hasn't settled any sexual harassment complaint with any staff member. (The BuzzFeed report said he settled a "wrongful dismissal complaint" stemming from alleged sexual impropriety.)

Even before Conyers spoke with the AP, House Speaker Paul Ryan issued a statement:

“This report is extremely troubling," Ryan said. "Last month, I directed the Committee on House Administration to conduct a full review of all policies and procedures related to workplace harassment and discrimination.

"A Committee hearing last week examining this issue led to a new policy of mandatory training for all members and staff. Additional reforms to the system are under consideration as the committee continues its review. People who work in the House deserve and are entitled to a workplace without harassment or discrimination.”

Conyers is 88 years old and serves as the ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee.

This past August, the Associated Press reported that the House Ethics Committee was "extending" its investigation into Conyers over payments to his former chief of staff.

"The ethics panel said it needs more time to review a report submitted by the independent Office of Congressional Ethics, which said there is substantial reason to believe that Conyers paid his former chief of staff for work she did not perform," the AP reported at the time.

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