John Conyers Resigns Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations

Conyers was the longest-serving member of the House of Representatives and a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus.

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Rep. John Conyers Jr. of Michigan announced Tuesday he is resigning from Congress following accusations that he sexually harassed former female staff members.

Conyers was the longest-serving member of the House of Representatives and a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus.

He made the announcement on a local Michigan radio show, during which he endorsed his son, John Conyers III, to take his place.

Conyers, 88, emphasized that he was not resigning but rather retiring.

“My legacy can’t be compromised or diminished in any way by what we’re going through now. This too shall pass,” Conyers said.

Of the allegations against him, Conyers said, “They’re not accurate, they’re not true and they’re something I can’t explain where they came from.”

Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson (Texas) read a statement from Conyers on the House floor. The statement read, “Given the totality of the circumstance of not being afforded the right of due process in conjunction with current health conditions, and to preserve my legacy and good name, I am retiring. I hope my retirement will be viewed in the larger perspective of my record of service as I enter a new chapter.”

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Nancy Pelosi Does Not Stand with Women Accusing Rep. Conyers of Sexual Harassment

Nancy Pelosi Does Not Stand with Women Accusing Rep. Conyers of Sexual Harassment

“John Conyers is an icon in our country. He’s done a great deal to protect women,” according to Pelosi, who did not say whether Conyers should resign.

Conyers was a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). Cedric Richmond (D-La.), the group’s chairman, said last week that he and Conyers had a “lengthy discussion” but ultimately, “I did not ask him to resign,” according to Politico.

But Politico and CNN both reported an internal divide among CBC members.

“Those members are trying to ease his exit without trampling on his legacy during his 50-plus years in the House,” according to CNN.

The outlet also reported that an unidentified CBC member’s staffer described “a feeling among some of our members that we need to protect [Conyers’] legacy.”

But Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), a longtime CBC member who also served as the group’s chairman, had called for Conyers to exit Congress.

Last Sunday Conyers stepped down from the House Judiciary Committee. Shortly before his announcement, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) appeared on “Meet the Press” and threw her support behind Conyers. She questioned the accounts of the women who came forward.

Pelosi eventually changed her tune, and she and House Speaker Paul Ryan both called for Conyers’ resignation.

Conyers was hospitalized last week, reportedly for stress, according to CNN affiliate WDIV.

Ian Conyers, John Conyers’ great-nephew, told The New York Times that his great-uncle’s retirement concerned his health.

“His doctor advised him that the rigor of another campaign would be too much for him just in terms of his health,” said Ian Conyers, who will also try to replace the older Conyers in Congress.

Conyers is reportedly still in the hospital.

The sexual harassment allegations were first revealed by BuzzFeed News, which reportedly obtained four signed affidavits pertaining to Conyers. According to the publication, Conyers made unwanted sexual advances toward some of his women staffers and touched and caressed them. In 2015 Conyers reportedly reached a $27,000 settlement with a former female staffer who claimed she was fired for not engaging with Conyers sexually.

Since the story broke, women have alleged inappropriate touching, unwanted sexual advances and inappropriate behavior on behalf of Conyers. Conyers and his attorney have denied all claims against him.

Read more news @ DiversityInc.com

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  • Conyers resigns today, Roy Moore’ll probably be elected next week.
    Moore accusers kept quite for 40 years, Conyers accusers had to decide each new day, with each fresh assault, to continue to remain silent and prop him up because he’s a progressive-voting, mainstream, diversity and inclusion Democrat in good standing.

    (RE: John Conyers’ sexually predatory behavior, Nat’l Public Radio’s senior commentator Cokie Roberts said it was a long-known, open secret among female reporters that Conyers is unsafe to be caught in close proximity to. “Every female in the press corps knew that, right, don’t get in elevator with him,” Roberts said recently on ABC television’s “This Week,” of the embattled Michigan congressman.)

    Reply
      • Moore’s silent accusers who finally spoke up were just plain folks; the colluders who kept quiet about Conyers upskirt grabbiness were and are news reporters with extreme liberal Democrat bias who tolerated being prodded to keep a successful, prominent Democrat in office undeservedly because the female reporters with the long-known, open secret valued politically-powerful grabber liberal Conyers over “ordinary” women.

        How’d Newsweek’s drippy-chin Nina Burleigh put it, back in the Bill Clinton DNA dress days? Per Wikipedia: “Approached by a Washington Post media reporter to discuss her “Mirabella” article, Burleigh stated, “I would be happy to give him a blowjob just to thank him for keeping abortion legal. I think American women should be lining up with their Presidential kneepads on to show their gratitude for keeping the theocracy off our backs.”

        And people still wonder how Hillary and the Democrats lost the 2016 presidential election…

        Reply
    • reibson, trust me there are two standards of justice. Thing is it doesn’t favor the Black guy (Conyers) the way you think, even in this situation even though he’s left office.

      American justice and fairness favors someone White like you. Just keepin it real.

      Reply
  • Frederick Lowe

    Congressman Conyers said he was retiring, not resigning, during his phone call with a Detroit radio station.

    Reply
  • reibson, trust me there are two standards of justice. Thing is it doesn’t favor the Black guy (Conyers) the way you think, even in this situation even though he’s left office.

    American justice and fairness favors someone White like you. Just keepin it real.

    Reply
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