Rep. John Conyers' legacy was upended Monday when a BuzzFeed News report detailed sexual harassment allegations made against the Michigan Democrat. Now, the editorial board of the Detroit Free Press, his slightly left-leaning hometown paper, is calling for him to step down.
The longtime congressman is known as a civil rights icon and a co-founder of the Congressional Black Caucus, facts the Free Press acknowledged in its scathing editorial published Tuesday. But he's also been accused of making sexual advances toward an employee — and having her fired when she refused.
That's enough to spark an inquiry into Conyers, the Free Press said. But his misconduct runs deeper: If the victim dropped her formal complaint against Conyers, his office said it would "re-hire" her and pay her as a temporary employee. The woman eventually agreed to those terms, receiving more than $27,000 over the course of three months. It's similar to a time Conyers kept paying his former chief of staff even after she was fired — payments the Free Press said look like "hush money."
While the editorial board did suggest reforming the Congressional Office of Compliance so these payoffs don't keep happening, that is "not the point with Conyers." "It's a betrayal that breaches the most fundamental trust that exists between a public servant and the people that person represents," the Free Press wrote.
In his victory speech Tuesday night, Democrat Doug Jones, the projected winner of the Alabama special Senate election, said his entire campaign was based on "dignity and respect."
"This campaign has been about the rule of law," he continued. "This campaign has been about common courtesy and decency and making sure everyone in this state, regardless of which ZIP code you live in, is going to get a fair shake in life." Jones thanked the volunteers who "knocked on 300,000 doors" and made "1.2 million phone calls" on his behalf, and said he's ready to go to Washington to work on health care, particularly funding the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). It was a night to "rejoice," he said, celebrating Alabama taking "the right road." Catherine Garcia
If you were expecting an angry tweet from President Trump after the candidate he supported in the Alabama Senate special election, Republican Roy Moore, lost to Doug Jones, the Democrat, nope. On Tuesday night, Trump tweeted out his cordial congratulations to Jones.
Congratulations to Doug Jones on a hard fought victory. The write-in votes played a very big factor, but a win is a win. The people of Alabama are great, and the Republicans will have another shot at this seat in a very short period of time. It never ends!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 13, 2017
Moore wasn't Trump's first choice in the race — he campaigned for Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.) in the GOP primary. But he eventually went all-in for Moore, who he saw as a reliable Republican vote in the Senate. Peter Weber
Moments after several media outlets projected Democrat Doug Jones winning the Alabama special Senate election, the president and CEO of the Senate Leadership Fund super PAC released a short but scathing rebuke of the person he holds responsible for the stunning loss.
"This is a brutal reminder that candidate quality matters regardless of where you are running," Steven Law said. "Not only did Steve Bannon cost us a critical Senate seat in one of the most Republican states in the country, but he also dragged the president of the United States into his fiasco." The Republican candidate was Roy Moore, a former judge who was accused by several women of groping them when he was in his early 30s and they were teenagers. Bannon, President Trump's former chief strategist, appeared at a Monday night rally for Moore, where he railed against Republicans who refused to support Moore, while Trump tweeted multiple times in favor of Moore and recorded robo-calls on his behalf. The Senate Leadership Fund is close with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
The chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Sen. Cory Gardner (Colo.), took a different approach in the statement he made Tuesday night. "Tonight's results are clear — the people of Alabama deemed Roy Moore unfit to serve in the U.S. Senate," he said. "I hope Senator-elect Doug Jones will do the right thing and truly represent Alabama by choosing to vote with the Senate Republican majority." Nice try, senator. Catherine Garcia
Democrat Doug Jones will be the next senator representing Alabama, The Associated Press, Fox News, and The New York Times project.
The former U.S. attorney defeated Republican Roy Moore in a contentious election that took a turn last month when several women came forward and accused Moore of sexual misconduct when they were teenagers and he was in his early 30s. Moore had the support of President Trump, who recorded robo-calls on his behalf, as well as former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon. Jones will be the first Democratic senator in Alabama in two decades. Catherine Garcia
The results are still coming in for Alabama's special Senate election between Democrat Doug Jones and Republican Roy Moore, and with 86.7 percent of precincts reporting, they are tied with each having 49.2 percent of the vote.
Moore was far ahead in the polls until several women accused him in recent weeks of sexual misconduct when they were teenagers and he was in his early 30s, and in the days leading up to the election, Moore and Jones were in a dead heat. Moore has the support of President Trump, who recorded robo-calls on his behalf. The race will decide who will fill the seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Catherine Garcia
White House attorney Ty Cobb says that on Tuesday, Special Counsel Robert Mueller announced he's finished the interviews he requested with about two dozen current and former White House witnesses as part of the investigation into Russian meddling in the presidential election.
Attorneys have refused to say which White House officials have been interviewed, but it's been reported that White House communications director Hope Hicks, White House counsel Don McGahn, former chief of staff Reince Priebus, and former spokesman Sean Spicer have all spoken with investigators. Mueller could still ask for additional interviews with the staffers and others who have not yet been questioned.
Cobb had said he thought the interviews would be finished by Thanksgiving and Mueller would announce the investigation was complete by the end of the year, but one attorney representing a senior Trump administration official in the probe told Politico that's a "nonsensical" timeline. "You say what you need to say to keep the sun coming up in the morning, but if you woke Ty Cobb up in the middle of the night and ask him if he thinks this is really going to be over in three weeks I think his answer is, 'Are you f—ing kidding me? Of course it won't.'" Catherine Garcia
Should Roy Moore win the Alabama special Senate election Tuesday night, Senate Republicans will meet Wednesday morning to discuss where they go from here, several Republicans with knowledge of the meeting told NBC News.
Moore has been accused by several women of groping them when they were in their teens and he was in his early 30s, and several GOP lawmakers, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), have said that if Moore is elected, he will immediately undergo an ethics probe. During the meeting, they will decide as a group if they will seat Moore on any committees or let him participate in policy discussions, NBC News reports. Catherine Garcia