Political analyst Ryan Lizza has returned to work at CNN after a probe into sexual misconduct allegations against him found “no reason to keep [him] off the air.” Lizza was fired from his full-time position at The New Yorker in December, and CNN suspended him pending an investigation.
CNN announced its decision in a statement provided to Variety by a spokeswoman.
“Upon learning of The New Yorker’s decision to sever ties with Ryan Lizza in December, CNN pulled him from future on-air appearances while the network conducted an extensive investigation into the matter. Based on the information provided and the findings of the investigation, CNN has found no reason to continue to keep Mr. Lizza off the air,” the statement reads.
Lizza appeared on “CNN Tonight With Don Lemon” Thursday to comment on a New York Times report that stated President Trump had wanted to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller in June 2017. Lizza has been a contributor at the new channel since 2012.
“The New Yorker recently learned that Ryan Lizza engaged in what we believe was improper sexual conduct,” a spokesperson for the publication said at the time of Lizza’s dismissal. “We have reviewed the matter and, as a result, have severed ties with Lizza. Due to a request for privacy, we are not commenting further.”
Lizza said in a statement to Politico at the time that he was “dismayed that The New Yorker has decided to characterize a respectful relationship with a woman I dated as somehow inappropriate. The New Yorker was unable to cite any company policy that was violated. I am sorry to my friends, workplace colleagues ,and loved ones for any embarrassment this episode may have caused.”
He added, “I love the New Yorker, my home for the last decade, and I have the highest regard for the people who work there. But this decision, which was made hastily and without a full investigation of the relevant facts, was a terrible mistake.”
Douglas Wigdor, an attorney for the woman who accused Lizza and who wished to remain anonymous, provided a different take on the pair’s interactions.
“Although she desires to remain confidential and requests that her privacy be respected, in no way did Mr. Lizza’s misconduct constitute a ‘respectful relationship’ as he has now tried to characterize it,” Wigdor said in a statement. “Our client reported Mr. Lizza’s actions to ensure that he would be held accountable and in the hope that by coming forward she would help other potential victims.”