John Conyers quits House judiciary committee amid sexual harassment allegations

27 November 2017, 12:26 | Isaac Mcdaniel

Alex Wong Getty Images John Conyers

Conyers steps down as ranking member of Judiciary Committee

"I can not in good conscience allow these charges to undermine my colleagues in the Democratic Caucus, and my friends on both sides of the aisle in the Judiciary Committee and the House of Representatives". Just because someone is accused - was it one accusation or is it two?

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is drawing fire from people on her own side of the political spectrum on Sunday, thanks to comments she made about Rep.

Pelosi, speaking during an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday, called the allegations against Conyers a "big distraction".

"I believe he understands what is at stake here and he will do the right thing", she said.

Conyers, 88, is now subject to a House Ethics Committee investigation after the Detroit Democrat was accused of sexually harassing former staffers, including spending more than $27,000 from his taxpayer-funded office budget to pay off a woman who said she was sacked for resisting his sexual advances. Conyers is 88 years old, and it is impossible to see how he politically survives the multiple allegations of harassment, misconduct, and abusive behavior that have been leveled against him.

The development comes after BuzzFeed News reported that Conyers' office paid a former staffer more than $27,000 to settle a complaint. "But I have come to believe that my presence as ranking member would not serve these efforts while the ethics committee investigation is pending". She said Conyers is an "icon in this country" who through his work in Congress "has done a great deal to protect women".

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The House Ethics Committee announced last week that it had launched an investigation into the allegations of sexual harassment and age discrimination against Conyers involving his staff.

Conyers added, "I would urge them to continue to do so for any Member accused of wrongdoing".

Melanie Sloan, an attorney and former aide to Conyers, said she was verbally abused by the Democratic congressman, and although she maintains she was not sexually harassed, calling herself "no shrinking violet", she also claims he once summoned her for a meeting while in his underwear.

When pressed again, she replied that the review was under the jurisdiction of the House Ethics Committee.

But she took a blunter approach to Conyers following news of his recusal from the committee.



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