Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) announced on Sunday that he’s stepping down as the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee while he’s under a probe by the House Ethics Committee for sexual harassment and age discrimination, ABC News reported.
A lawyer who worked with Conyers on the House Judiciary Committee accused him of “sexual discrimination.” That is in addition to a former staffer with whom Conyers settled a sexual harassment case for more than $27,000 with funds taken from his congressional budget.
While a chorus of voices are calling for Conyers to step down over sexual misconduct allegations, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi wants to step on the brakes, calling for “due process” Sunday on “Meet the Press,” NBC News reported.
“John Conyers is an icon in our country. He has done a great deal to protect women – Violence Against Women Act, which the…right-wing – is now quoting me as praising him for his work on that, and he did great work on that. But the fact is, as John reviews his case, which he knows, which I don’t, I believe he will do the right thing,” Pelosi added.
It came to light on Tuesday that Conyers settled a sexual harassment claim with a former employee in 2015 for more than $27,000. Former staff members also accused Conyers, 88, of making repeated sexual advances on female staff.
A dozen of (D-Mich.) former female staffers are pushing back against reports of his alleged sexual misconduct and defending their ex-boss’ reputation, the Huffington Post reported.
“While we do not pass judgment on the specific allegations reported in the press or the women who brought them, our experiences with Mr. Conyers were quite different than the image of him being portrayed in the media. Mr. Conyers was a gentleman and never behaved in a sexually inappropriate manner in our presence. He was respectful, valued our opinions, challenged our thinking, and treated us as professionals,” they stated.