While denying charges that he sexually harassed staff members, Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-MI) is temporarily leaving his longtime position as the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee.
Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-MI) is stepping aside as the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee pending an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment, The Hill reports. “I deny these allegations, many of which were raised by documents reportedly paid for by a partisan alt-right blogger. I very much look forward to vindicating myself and my family before the House Committee on Ethics,” he said. Conyers’s attorney had maintained that the lawmaker would not resign from the post as the House Ethics Committee investigates into the allegations.
The Ethics Committee opened an investigation into Conyers after BuzzFeed News reported that Conyers 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.” Other staffers alleged that he made requests for sexual favors, inappropriately touched staffers and used congressional resources to transport women that they believed he was having sexual relationships with at the time. After the report was published, another woman came forward with allegations that Conyers harassed and verbally abused her while she worked for him in the 1990s. It was not immediately clear who would replace Conyers. Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), who represents parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn, is now the second-ranking Democrat on the committee.