Michigan Rep. John Conyers, a Democrat and the longest-serving member of the House of Representatives, settled a wrongful dismissal complaint in 2015 with a former employee who alleged she was fired because she would not "succumb to [his] sexual advances."
Documents from the complaint obtained by BuzzFeed News include four signed affidavits, three of which are notarized, from former staff members who allege that Conyers, the ranking Democrat on the powerful House Judiciary Committee, 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. Four people involved with the case verified the documents are authentic. read more
In the longstanding liberal narrative about Bill Clinton and his scandals, the one pushed by Clinton courtiers and ratified in media coverage of his post-presidency, our 42nd president was only guilty of being a horndog, his affairs were nobody's business but his family's, and oral sex with Monica Lewinsky was a small thing that should never have put his presidency in peril.
That narrative could not survive the current wave of outrage over male sexual misconduct.
So now a new one may be forming for the age of Harvey Weinstein and Donald Trump. Liberals might be willing to concede that the Lewinsky affair was a pretty big deal morally, a clear abuse of sexual power, for which Clinton probably should have been pressured to resign.
It may be that the conservatives of the 1990s were simply right about Clinton, that once he failed to resign he really deserved to be impeached. read more
Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bill O'Neill, a Democratic candidate for governor, apparently trying to head off any criticisms from his opponents, revealed what he says are his sexual escapades over the years on a Facebook post. A post on O'Neill's official Facebook said he was speaking up "on behalf of all heterosexual males" after allegations against Democratic U.S. Sen. Al Franken came to light Thursday. O'Neill, a Chagrin Falls native, said he had been "sexually intimate" with "approximately 50 very attractive females." O'Neill said he was disappointed by the "national feeding frenzy about sexual indiscretions decades ago" and wanted to focus on the issues like legalizing marijuana and addressing opioid addiction. Over the last several weeks, numerous allegations of predatory sexual behavior against powerful men have come to light. read more
LA Times Editorial Board:
Stories about powerful men engaging in sexual misconduct are becoming so common that, as with mass shootings, the country is in danger of growing inured to them. But unlike the tragic news about that latest deranged, murderous gunman, the massive outpouring of previously repressed tales of sexual harassment gives us reason to hope.
The latest revelation comes from L.A. radio anchor Leeann Tweeden, who says U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) forcibly kissed her while they were rehearsing for a USO show overseas in 2006, just before Franken began his campaign for the Senate.
Franken has apologized, though says he doesn't remember the incident the way Tweeden does, and he asked for an investigation of his own behavior by the Senate Ethics Committee. Such a probe would be welcome. The committee can also investigate whether it's an isolated incident or part of an offensive pattern. read more
Efforts to combat sexual harassment on Capitol Hill gained momentum on Tuesday as female lawmakers shared stories of male colleagues engaging in predatory behavior. Lawmakers in both parties had already expressed support for mandatory sexual harassment awareness training, which is currently voluntary for legislative branch staffers. But they went further in a House Administration Committee hearing on Capitol Hill's harassment policies and said even more can be done in a male-dominated workplace where sexual harassment can be pervasive. Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), in testimony before the panel, said at least two current members of Congress have engaged in sexual harassment. "In fact, there are two members of Congress, Republican and Democrat, right now, who serve, who have been subject to review or not have been subject to review, but have engaged in sexual harassment," said Speier, who declined to name the male lawmakers. read more