1997 – 2017 – Congress used a $17 million dollar secret “slush fund” for hush money payments to victims of sexual misconduct

In Email/Dossier/Govt Corruption Investigations, Featured Timeline Entries by Katie Weddington

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(…) Meanwhile, our elected officials are dipping into our tax dollars to clean up all their messes. Don’t forget revelations from a few years ago that Congress has its own secret slush fund of hush money—all courtesy of you, the hapless taxpayer. Funny how that works, it’s like one rule for them, and another for everyone else.

Indeed, Office of Congressional Compliance (OOC) which was set up to ensure compliance with the ludicrously named 1995 Congressional Accountability Act, controls a whole treasure chest of disputes involving congressional officials—not just congressional officials, in fact. You’ll be pleased to know that the Capitol Police, the Congressional Budget Office, and many other legislative groups get to wet their beaks in this slush fund as well. Recent reports have indicated that over 17 million dollars has been used from this fund to take care of various “hush” projects on behalf of members of congress and other agencies.

However, one thing is true, there is a lot of confusion and misinformation surrounding that “sexy slush fund.” So, let’s debunk some common misconceptions about this secret hush money to shed light on just how corrupt our government truly is. First off, the $17 million figure was not solely paid out to sexual abuse victims, that we know of. We’re told that it represents the total settlements from 1997 to 2017, covering a slew of issues from sexual misconduct to various forms of discrimination lawsuits. The problem is, we don’t know how much of that $17 million was used for sexual misconduct, because supposedly, nobody kept track, and for some unknown reason, can’t go back in time and figure it out.


According to a report from the Office of Compliance, more than $17 million has been paid out in settlements over a period of 20 years – 1997 to 2017.

How many settlements have there been?
According to the OOC data released Thursday, there have been 268 settlements. On Wednesday, Rep. Jackie Speier, the California Democrat who unveiled a bill to reform the OOC, announced at a news conference Wednesday that there had been 260 settlements. The previous tally did not include settlements paid in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Where did the settlement money come from?
Taxpayers. Once a settlement is reached, the money is not paid out of an individual lawmaker’s office but rather comes out of a special fund set up to handle this within the US Treasury – meaning taxpayers are footing the bill. The fund was set up by the Congressional Accountability Act, the 1995 law that created the Office of Compliance.

How many of the settlements were sexual harassment-related?
It’s not clear. Speier told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Wednesday that the 260 settlements represent those related to all kinds of complaints, including sexual harassment as well as racial, religious or disability-related discrimination complaints. The OOC has not made public the breakdown of the settlements, and Speier says she’s pursuing other avenues to find out the total.

In its latest disclosure, the OOC said that statistics on payments are “not further broken down into specific claims because settlements may involve cases that allege violations of more than one of the 13 statutes incorporated by the (Congressional Accountability Act).”

Who knows about the settlements and payments?
After a settlement is reached, a payment must be approved by the chairman and ranking member of the House administration committee, an aide to Chairman Gregg Harper, a Mississippi Republican, told CNN.

The aide also said that “since becoming chair of the committee, Chairman Harper has not received any settlement requests.” Harper became chairman of the panel at the beginning of this year.

It’s not clear how many other lawmakers – if any – in addition to the House administration committee’s top two members are privy to details about the settlements and payments.

The most infamous sexual abuse case we do know about involves a now-deceased former highfalutin Democrat lawmaker from Michigan named John Conyer. This article is from 2017 and basically blew the lid off the secret “sexy slush fund.”


Michigan Rep. John Conyers, a Democrat and the longest-serving member of the House of Representatives, settled a wrongful dismissal complaint in 2015 with a former employee who alleged she was fired because she would not “succumb to [his] sexual advances.”

Documents from the complaint obtained by BuzzFeed News include four signed affidavits, three of which are notarized, from former staff members who allege that Conyers, the ranking Democrat on the powerful House Judiciary Committee, repeatedly made sexual advances to female staff that included requests for sex acts, contacting and transporting other women with whom they believed Conyers was having affairs, caressing their hands sexually, and rubbing their legs and backs in public. Four people involved with the case verified the documents are authentic.

Conyers confirmed he made the settlement in a statement Tuesday afternoon, hours after this story was published, but said that he “vehemently denied” the claims of sexual harassment at the time and continues to do so.

And the documents also reveal the secret mechanism by which Congress has kept an unknown number of sexual harassment allegations secret: a grinding, closely held process that left the alleged victim feeling, she told BuzzFeed News, that she had no option other than to stay quiet and accept a settlement offered to her.

“I was basically blackballed. There was nowhere I could go,” she said in a phone interview. BuzzFeed News is withholding the woman’s name at her request because she said she fears retribution.

Last week the Washington Post reported that Congress’s Office of Compliance paid out $17 million for 264 settlements with federal employees over 20 years for various violations, including sexual harassment. The Conyers documents, however, give a glimpse into the inner workings of the office, which has for decades concealed episodes of sexual abuse by powerful political figures.

Mr. Conyers wasn’t paraded into court for using our tax dollars to quiet down a victim, was he? We’d love to do a little digging and see if any other lawmakers or federal employees got the same treatment as President Trump, but guess what? We don’t know the names of the federally employed folks who dipped into this congressional “hush money” honey pot.

What we’re witnessing in the United States is a prime example of peak corruption in action. Federal employees can get away with sexual assault left and right, and when they’re caught, the slush fund jumps into action to hush it up, no questions asked. And instead of these scumbags facing the music, it’s President Trump who’s under the microscope and being dragged through a sham political trial.

We should be used to this shameless “two-tier” injustice system by now. (Read more: Revolver News, 4/16/2024)  (Archive)