In a harrowing report released Wednesday, an alleged victim of sexual harassment at the hands of Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) said that he told her something chilling after she rebuffed his advances.
What did he say to her?
The Washington Post reported the claims of a former staffer of Conyers who said that the “iconic” congressman propositioned her when she was just a 20-year-old intern working at his office.
Courtney Morse, now 36, said that the congressman drove her home one evening but indicated that he wanted a sexual relationship with her after wrapping his hands around hers in her lap.
When she denied his request, he bizarrely began talking about the search for former federal intern Chandra Levy, who had gone missing at the time.
“He said he had insider information on the case. I don’t know if he meant it to be threatening, but I took it that way,” Morse said. “I got out of the car and ran.”
She says she quit her job as his intern after the alarming interaction.
Why is that threatening?
Chandra Levy was allegedly having an affair with a congressman and went missing without a trace. An illegal immigrant was later convicted for her killing, but he was exonerated with new evidence. The case remains unsolved.
CNN’s Jake Tapper called the story “chilling and contemptible.”
“Read this on [Rep. Conyers] and put yourself in the shoes of a 20-year-old intern, rejecting the advances of a powerful congressman who then brings up an intern who is missing,” he said.
The abusive “icon”
“He was one of those congressmen you look up to and you see as an icon,” Morse told the Post. “I was also working on important issues and staying meant I could continue to work on them and potentially help people.”
Morse used the same description of Conyers as an “icon” that Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) used when she defended the congressman against the allegations. She later walked back her comments after a furious public outcry.