Rep. John Conyers made repeated attempts to touch his office aide on the way to and during a White House cultural event meant to honor ‘America’s most significant artistic contribution to the world’ – jazz music – according to court documents, it was revealed Wednesday.
Video footage reviewed by DailyMail.com shows Conyers smiling and clapping during a glamorous gathering last year celebrating the nation’s cultural heritage while seated seated next to a female guest.
But according to a claim filed by his former D.C. scheduler, she was experiencing extreme discomfort that evening due to his repeated attempts to touch her and get her to go to his Washington, D.C., home after the program.
According to a federal court filing by the former aide, the married Conyers repeatedly tried to touch, message, and corner the plaintiff.
Conyers made five attempts on a single day in 2016 to ‘coerce’ her to come to his home, according to her legal filing, which was later withdrawn.
Conyers is accused by a former aide of repeatedly touching her and inviting her to his home on the day he visited the White House for an event. He was photographed at the event with the woman, who DailyMail.com is not naming
A Conyers aide noted that the lawsuit was withdrawn
DailyMail.com is not naming the woman because she describes herself as a victim of sexual harassment.
The House Ethics Committee on Tuesday began an inquiry into Conyers after a report that his office paid $27,000 to settle a case with another accuser.
The day in question, in April of last year, Conyers invited the woman to attend a White House event with him that evening.
His initial guest had cancelled, and Conyers was ‘even more persistent than usual’ toward the woman.
According to her lawsuit, which was later withdrawn, Conyers went to his D.C. scheduler’s cubicle and began rubbing her neck.
She had become accustomed to his repeated attempts to touch her and make suggestive comments.
President Obama lauded the contribution of jazz to the nation’s cultural heritage at the event
While driving to the White House, the woman rode in the back of the car with Conyers, who ‘continually made attempts to hold her hand and make inappropriate comments under his breath, again requesting that Plaintiff come home with him,’ according to the suit.
At the event, she was seated next to Conyers, who ‘continued to touch her against her wishes the entire evening.’
White House schedules from the time reveal that on that night, President Obama hosted an all-star concert celebrating jazz as ‘America’s most significant artistic contribution to the world.’
Set up in a tent on the White House south lawn, the concert featured Herbie Hancock, Aretha Franklin, Sting, and other all star performers, and broadcast on television the following day.
Video of the event shows Conyers at one point seated next to a female guest.
Seated on his left are Rep. Eljah Cummings, a Maryland Democrat who like Conyers is a senior member of the Congressional Black Caucus. Cummings’ wife, Maya Rockeymoore, a potential Maryland candidate for governor, is seated to Conyers’ immediate left.
Conyers introduced House Resolution 57, which declared jazz to be a national treasure, more than 20 years ago. He was elected to Congress in 1964 and was an original founder of the CBC.
Sting performed at the all-star event at which Conyers is accused of touching an aide against her will
R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Detroit native Aretha Franklin also performed. The Detroit congressman is accused of using the event to molest an aide
Actor Morgan Freeman spoke at the event on the South Lawn of the White House
Michigan Representative John Conyers settled a $27,000 complaint in 2015 from a woman who alleged she was fired because she rejected his sexual advances, Buzzfeed News reporter. He denies it was over sexual misconduct and represented a regular severance payment
Buzzfeed first reported the lawsuit on Tuesday, after revealing Conyers had settled a harassment claim with another woman who got paid $27,000 from his taxpayer-funded office allowance.
A Conyers spokesman told BuzzFeed the former staffer ‘voluntarily decided to drop her case.”
According to the suit, the woman had ‘extreme admiration and respect for his legislative work as a Civil Rights icon.’
The suit also cites Conyers’ ‘age and failing mental capacities.’ It says she was directed by her predecessor and charged with knowing Conyers’ whereabouts at all times, ‘ordering and maintaining meds for Congressman Conyers; waking him up every morning by phone,’ as well as ‘checking in with and often providing him his meds daily while in the DC offices, including weekends.’
The accuser says the congressman’s wife, Monica Conyers, told other staff: ‘What’s good about him hiring his whore’ and cited her hiring in her divorce
She claims that Conyers’ wife, Monica Ann Conyers, who filed for divorce in 2014, cited her own hiring as a cause of action. The woman also says Monica Conyers told other staff: ‘What’s good about him hiring his whore.’
The woman says she shared her concerns with a former Conyers staffer who replied: ‘You are his type … we’ve always had the same type.’
She also cited the congressman’s wife as part of her claim that the office was a ‘hostile work environment.’
She cited as fact that ‘Monica Conyers is a known brawler and that she felt threatened anytime Mrs. Conyers was scheduled to be in Washington, DC.’
Monica Conyers pled guilty to bribery charges and served time in federal prison.
The aide says that on the day of the April 29 event, Conyers ‘cornered’ her in the office kitchen about coming to his house.
After a meeting, he asked her to attend the White House event. ‘Due to a camera phone on Plaintiff’s desk, Plaintiff was able to catch some of these events on tape,’ according to her suit.
She filed a motion in February to have the suit sealed, but was unsuccessful.
In March, she sought to withdraw the suit without prejudice, Buzzfeed reported. She was seeking $39,000 in lost wages, plus $15,000 for mental anguish and $50,000 in punitive damages.
Her complaint also reveals disputes with the office about what had been an effort on her part to take a leave of absence under the Family and Medical Leave Act.
The serious claims and sordid allegations are a stark contrast to the high-minded ideals President Barack Obama hailed during his introductory remarks.
‘Jazz is perhaps the most honest reflection of who we are as a nation. Because after all, has there ever been any greater improvisation than America itself?’ Obama said.