Former John Conyer’s aide says most of them have seen him in his underwear and it’s “no big deal”
Um, ok. How many times have you walked in on your boss in his underwear? Not cool by any means.
From Daily Mail: A male former aide to Rep. John Conyers has pooh-poohed claims by a female lawyer that the Democrat invited her to a meeting while he was in his underwear.
Melanie Sloan, who served as minority counsel for House Judiciary Committee, said last week that she was called up to Conyers’ office during her time there only to find him in his underwear.
But on Wednesday Bob Weiner, who was Conyers’ communications director from 1994-2000, said the representative’s underwear was a common sight at the time. ‘Most of us have walked in on him accidentally without knocking and have seen him in his underwear,’ he told CNN. ‘Big deal.’
Sloan told the Washington Post that she had been called to brief Conyers on a matter when she saw him in the uncomfortable situation. ‘I was pretty taken aback to see my boss half-dressed,’ she said, adding: ‘I turned on my heel and I left.’
But on Tuesday Weiner said that Conyers – like other representatives in the Rayburn House Office Building – had a wardrobe in his office, and so it was expected that staff would see his underwear from time to time.
‘Something else that people need to know: his closet is in his office right here. He changes clothes in his office,’ he said. ‘So to say that somebody came to a meeting and that’s how it was, that’s an untrue statement. That is the kind of thing that needs to be explored before there’s any acceptance to that kind of an allegation.’
Sloan does not accuse Conyers of sexually harassing her, but did say that he was verbally abusive to her during her employment. ‘There was an occasion where he called me out of a meeting with a bunch of advocates and was screaming at me in the halls, including [about] me not wearing stockings on a 95-degree Washington summer day … while he wasn’t wearing socks,’ she told ABC.
She said of Conyers: ‘I don’t think he was having male staffers babysit his kids and I don’t think male staffers were berated in the same way that I was. Certainly, Congressman Conyers was picking on me and this was well known throughout the committee staff. It was obvious.’
But Weiner also denied that she was being picked on, or that Conyers was motivated by misogyny. ‘That’s not sexist. That’s just being aggressive as the member of Congress or the Cabinet member or the VIP that you are,’ he said. ‘It has nothing to do with being anti-women. I got it too.’
‘Representative Conyers has never done anything inappropriate to Melanie Sloan,’ his lawyer, Arnold Reed, told the paper.
However, Conyers – who stepped down from the House Judiciary Committee on Sunday – has other issues to contend with.
The House Ethics Committee is investigating him following a report that claimed he used $27,000 of office funds to pay off a staffer who accused him of sexual harassment and wrongful termination.
And another woman, now 77, claims that Conyers stripped down to his underwear in front of her in a hotel room while they were on a work trip.
Members of both the Republicans and the Democrats are now calling for Conyers to step down – and Weiner says the mood in his office is grim. ‘His staff is very depressed and think that people are trying to make the die cast against him, and everybody’s trying to work out statements of what to say that’s the right thing to say and it’s very complicated,’ he said.
‘People are hoping that the die hasn’t been cast too far too soon already… the staff is hoping very much that, at a minimum, that he gets the chance to complete his term as a member of Congress,’ he said. ‘That’s the objective right now of the staff.’
Conyers the longest serving member of the House, denied doing anything wrong after BuzzFeed News reported a woman was paid $27,000 from Conyers’ taxpayer-funded congressional office allowance.
The unidentified woman alleges that Conyers repeatedly asked her for sex. In one particularly serious charge, she claims that Conyers asked her to work out of his hotel room, when the Michigan congressman began talking about his sexual desires, according to the report. She alleged that Conyers then told her to ‘touch it’ – meaning his penis – or find him a woman who would meet his sexual demands.
Read the rest of the story here.