Democratic Rep. John Conyers, who it was reported Monday has a history of sexual harassing female staffers, was praised by his colleague Rep. Maxine Waters for being a champion of women just last month.
While speaking to organizers of the national Women’s March, she praised Conyers for his respect and support of women.
“You know, there is a member of Congress who has been supportive of women for many, many, many years,” she said while addressing the Women's Convention Sojourner Truth Luncheon in Detroit.
“He is quiet, he is confident, he is powerful, but he has impeccable integrity on all of our issues. Give John Conyers a big round of applause.”
And in light of the allegations against Conyers, her rallying cry to the women did not age well (emphasis mine):
“We’re speaking to women who are single mothers, women who work two and three jobs making minimum wage or less, women who have been exploited, harassed, or taken advantage of in their personal and professional lives.”
She continued: “I just want to take time to focus on something that I think we need to focus on right now. It is very fortuitous that we are gathered here this afternoon in Detroit as we continue to recognize a record number of women who are boldly coming forward to reveal disturbing and grotesque acts of sexual harassment, assault and rape, often times at the hands of men who believed they were too rich and too powerful to ever be confronted or held accountable.”
Conyers reportedly settled a wrongful dismissal complaint in 2015 with a former staffer who says she was fired for not “succumb[ing] to [his] sexual advances.”
The woman was among four former staffers who said in affidavits that Conyers repeatedly sexually harassed female aides and even made some of them contact and transport women they believed he was having affairs with. Two of those former staffers said he did so using office funds.
Conyers denies any wrongdoing.
"In our country, we strive to honor this fundamental principle that all are entitled to due process," Conyers said in a statement. "In this case, I expressly and vehemently denied the allegations made against me, and continue to do so."